Well today’s Gospel can certainly be a tough one for some people. As we read the inspired word of God, sometimes a couple of those commands can sort of get stuck in your throat and not want to come out! For example, verse 42: “Give to everyone who asks, and if
anyone wants to borrow do not turn away.” Or again, verse 48: “You
must be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Did Jesus
really mean little old me, or was he only talking to our priests? Sorry friend - he definitely meant little old you and me!
Why is it that we worry so much about someone coming to borrow from us? Are we worried that once we give to one person we’ll be plagued by hundreds of others? Or maybe that we won’t have the borrowed things returned to us? If we’re REALLY honest with ourselves just think about exactly how many times in the past five years has someone asked to borrow either money or other things from you? When did you ever say “no,” and why? I don’t think anyone would ever turn their back on someone really in need; it’s in our very nature to give. If we worry about lending to someone in need, it’s only because we’re still too attached to our possessions, trusting more in them than in God –
a sign of the vice of greed or avarice. You only have to watch Judge Judy on the TV to see how many people go to court to get back that which was borrowed from them, (usually money).
And, why does the idea of being perfect worry us? To be perfect simply means to know God’s will and to act accordingly. That’s not outside of our ability. The Holy Spirit has been given to us, and lives within us. Jesus told us more than once: “Ask and you shall receive.” If we ask the Holy Spirit for enlightenment, the right way to live will be shown to us.
This certainly calls for effort on our part; we have the responsibility to let our conscience be united to God’s truth, not with what people in the world are doing.. Our Church teachings are clear and easy to understand; ask and you shall receive an answer that is in harmony with God’s will!
My friends, Christ will recognise you by what you have done and judge you for what you haven’t done to his beloved poor. So Christ’s call to perfection is simply a call to holiness, within reach of each one of us.