The WORD in Other Words by Fr Chito Lorenzo SVD (Japan) for Tuesday 11th Week in Ordinary Time
The need to be perfect in all things drive certain people into depression because they cannot achieve their goal to be perfect. Being human we make mistakes. If we want someone who has made a mistake feel good, we say, “Welcome to the human race”. The sooner you accept the fact that as a human being you have weaknesses and faults, the sooner you can be at peace with yourself and be a mature person.
And yet, in the gospel today we hear Jesus say that we are to be perfect just as God the Father is perfect. Is this not a contradiction to what I just said? I think part of the key to understanding this gospel passage lies in the first words of Jesus: “You have heard it was said…..But I say to you…” The Old Testament people had rules that were not really according to God’s plan and so Jesus set about correcting those things. The people’s understanding of the law of love was imperfect and Jesus was correcting that.
Which brings me to my final point: while it is true that we are to be perfect, Jesus did not expect perfection immediately. The law of love knows that getting rid of one’s imperfections takes time. The apostles took some time to understand the teachings of Jesus. If we are to be perfect, the time to begin is now. But it is a journey that will take a lifetime and will involve a lot of patience on our part. If we take that journey sincerely and trust that the Father who loves us will also guide our way and give us the graces we need, then we will surely achieve perfection when we enter heaven and gain eternal life.
Source – Bible Diary 2020