Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Psalm 118:1-2,4-5,7-8; Matthew 5:43-48
BE YOU PERFECT AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT
This is a call to “holiness without any distinction of age, profession, race or social standing. There are no followers of Christ who do not have a Christian vocation, a personal call to sanctity.” Francis Fernandez
1~ “All the faithful, whatever their condition or state – though each in his own way – are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father Himself is perfect,” (cf Lumen gentium, 11). We have to ask ourselves whether our lives are in correspondence to our professions or vocations.
2~ When Jesus was urging His disciples and furthermore, we in the present generation, He was aware and still aware that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,”(cf Matthew 26:41). Oftentimes the flesh is only weak when it comes to the things of the spiritual life, but very active when material gains are involved.
3~ Why should the spirit always be weak? We all know the answer – it is starved from what will feed it, constant efforts towards doing the right thing. Why do some great people fall from their citadels of righteousness? It is either because of issues about money or sexual issues or hubris.
4~ No one who is a prisoner to any of the above three will ever attain perfection. This is why Moses in the first reading warned the people of Israel of old and we in the modern generation, that the only way we can claim to be people of God is by holiness, thus we are told, “Be holy, because I am holy,” (cf 1 Peter 1:16).
5~ Dear friend, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness,” 1 John 1:5. “A man becomes a Christian; he isn’t born one.” Robert E. Segal. Let us live above the level of being friendly to those who are good to us. Our love should encompass all, irrespective of religion, race, colour or differences. May God help us, because this is really difficult, but with the Grace of God, we can. Amen
*Where are you in your efforts towards becoming a better person? Have you given up to occasional failures? Unless you constantly practice, you can rarely achieve perfection.*
Have a beautiful weekend!
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Holy Angel’s Parish and St Mary’s Parish, St Albans, Vermont