Practicing for Perfection

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Actions have consequences. And God will not be mocked. Yesterday we read about the evil Jezebel and her wimpy (and equally evil) husband Ahab. Today we see the consequences of their evil actions.

In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus gives us more difficult fare. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” As if that’s not hard enough, He then puts the topper on it all. “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Seriously?? Yes, seriously. The equation is really quite simple. As Christians, we are called to imitate Jesus. Jesus is God. Therefore, the more closely we imitate Christ, the closer we come to God’s perfection.

This is the kind of perfection we can never fully achieve here on earth. But we should always be striving for it, practicing to attain it. Let me use a couple of sports analogies. The professional golfer that knocks in a hole-in-one makes it look easy, but he hit hundreds of thousands of golf balls and worked countless hours at his game to achieve that. The gymnast that performs a perfect routine and receives all tens from the judges has achieved perfection, if only for a brief moment. But leading up to that moment of perfection were years of hard work and plenty of failure. So it is with us. If we keep trying with a pure heart, eventually God will give us glimpses of how we can achieve that perfection. Seems the old axiom is true: practice makes perfect. I guess that’s why they call it practicing religion.

Father, you know that we are so far from perfect, and yet you call us to continue to strive to achieve that perfection. Today, may we practice imitating Christ, that we may be perfect in your eyes. Amen.

Today's Readings

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