Today Jesus tells us we must be perfect, just as our heavenly
Father is perfect. Well anyone with even a little commonsense knows
that is impossible. We are human and by definition we cannot be perfect.
So are we suppose to just disregard what Jesus says?
I do not think so. Let’s look at what he says just before he admonishes
us to be perfect: “Your heavenly Father makes the sun rise on the bad
and the good, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
So as our heavenly Father does we should do too. We need to treat everyone
the good and the bad, the just and the unjust the same! Whoa!
That is asking quite a lot! But that is what God does and that is exactly
what we are asked to do as Christians.
We believe that our God is all loving, all merciful and completely just.
Therefore, we must strive towards being perfectly loving, perfectly merciful
and perfectly just not only to others, but to ourselves. As God’s representatives
and ambassadors we are called to treat all equally with unselfish love.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is found eight times in the Bible.
First in Leviticus 19:18, twice in Matthew (19:19 and 22:39), once in Mark
12:31 and Luke 10:27 as well as in the epistles, Rm 13:9, Gal 5:14 and Jms
2:8. The Golden Rule is similar, “Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you” (Mt 7:12, Lk 6:31). God tells us repeatedly that
we can win and so can everyone else. Why don’t we see it that way?
Why must we always think if someone wins someone else must lose?
If you just love your neighbor, your neighbor wins and you lose. Not
many of us like that idea. If you just love yourself then you win and
your neighbor loses. Not many of us like that idea either, especially
when we are the neighbor. But when we love our neighbor as our self,
we both win! God plays a win-win game. For us to be perfect as
God is perfect we too must play a win-win game.
The win-win game is infinite, ever-creative and ever-growing, that sounds
like attributes we would ascribe to God. Can it be that simple to be
like God?! We have committed the Golden Rule to memory, now we must
commit it to life.
Lord, teach us to love ourselves and each other just as You love us so that
we can strive towards the perfection that is you. Give us firmness
of faith, firm certainty in hope, zeal in our charity and help us to become
heroic in every virtue that we may attain wholeness and holy-ness with your