Living with perfectionists can drive us crazy! Not only are they hard on themselves, they are also hard on everyone around them! We tend to avoid perfectionists and perfectionism. When I read our Gospel today and heard Jesus say, “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect”, I immediately changed perfect from an adjective to a verb! That is, I see “perfect” as a journey to be “holy as God is holy”. The Gospel challenges us to go about living with a greater purpose!
Jesus offers us a model for going the extra mile. Jesus looked at the Romans and saw not enemies, but children of God. He saw lepers not as outcasts but as deserving compassion and care. He handed over not his cloak but his very life! In all of these and other ways, Jesus made visible the holiness of God.
If we live by the Gospel, we are called to radically readjust how we live. We are called not to be limited in our loving, in our responding to the needs of those around us. The poor, the sick, the needy, the disenfranchised, family members, coworkers, all cry out to us for our love and care.
This is how we respond to Jesus’ command to “be perfect”.