So be perfect!
Perfect is defined one way to be absolute; complete (used for emphasis). Today we hear Jesus telling his disciples, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” In today’s world many hear this and immediately give it up thinking it’s not possible to be perfect. Others go in circles trying to be perfect according to the world’s standards and fall into scrupulosity. They find themselves more concerned with the fear of not doing something exactly right and their focus becomes self-inclusive. Then they aren’t able to live in the current moment freely as intended. They are wrapped in their mind allowing fear to keep them occupied. For some they just might be terrified of doing something wrong, so they stay away from everything and everyone. This way of life is not what God intended for us. Our call to be perfect reaches deep within each of us uniquely.
Today, Jesus is calling you and I to live counter-culturally, to live in such a way that all that we do is in and for the honor of God Our Father. Jesus tells as how to do this and how to become who we were called to be. To live fully and most importantly freely as His Beloved Son or Daughter.
There is a song by Ed Sheeran called “Perfect” that starts off “I found a love, for me” and as the song progresses, he is watching her at a distance internally while still being there in the moment with her. His eyes fixed on her with love. There isn’t anything that can diminish this love. At one point he says, “When you said you looked a mess I whispered underneath my breath – But you heard it Darling, you look perfect tonight”. He simply just loves her. Period. I believe that is the key to being perfect to be loved as we are in all of our “worldly” imperfections and allow ourselves to be love so we can give the love we received to others as Jesus says.
So as we journey along in this gift of life when we “slip” or “get it wrong” sure we can stop and apologize but then instead of staying in that moment in that vicious cycle we move forward, reach out for Christ’s hand and return our gaze to His and not on ourselves knowing that even when we find ourselves in a mess we can be assured of God’s love and mercy.
Lori Kananen, LMC, is a lay Pastoral Associate at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.