Message: Today consider what it would mean to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." What does this mean? That you and I will have such goodness that people will look at us in amazement and say, how did he become so good? (Smile) Don't hold your breath. Becoming perfect is not about how people look at us but how we look at others.
How do people typically look at each other? Well, you already know: we divide into factions and we look at the other side as if they were idiots. I've used the word, haven't you? This is called polarization. It means not only that we don't see the other person's point of view but that we don't want to. Polarization didn't start with the last election. If you know some history you know it's the ordinary way humans treat each other - on the the level of society and even in our closest relationships. It takes a great effort - and a special grace - to see things from the other person's perspective.
Yet that's what Jesus asks us to do. Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. People in Palestine considered rain a blessing. God blesses the just and the unjust. To be perfect means to desire a blessing not only for the person who treats one well but the person who treats one badly.
One day Mother Teresa went to a local bakery to ask for bread for orphan children. The baker, outraged at people begging bread from him, spat in her face and refused. Mother Teresa calmly took out her handkerchief, wiped the spit from her face and said to the baker, "Okay, that was for me. Now what about the bread for the orphans?" Silence followed and the baker gave her the bread.
Here we see the wisdom St. Paul describes - the hidden wisdom we are aiming at in this series. It's not a feel good wisdom. It's the cross.
We have one more week. Next Sunday Jesus will give the key to overcoming anxiety and worry. I need it myself. I admit I am big worrier. St. Paul next week will round out hidden wisdom by talking about how to avoid premature judgment.
Today consider what it would mean to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect: He makes the sun rise on the bad and the good and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. Amen.
From Archives (Seventh Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
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Bishop Bob Barron's Homilies
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
Review of Roe