7th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 19th February 2017

Perfection Itself!

It was a sad week! A mother gave birth to two sons whom she would have loved equally. Yet, the elder one, in jealousy, murders his younger brother. No, not the story you may be thinking of. It is the story of Cain murdering his brother Abel, that we had in the first reading last Monday.

Isn’t it so tragic that people who grow up together in one happy family oftentimes find themselves at great odds with one another? Even in this statement there is no judgement.

There is a helplessness in our nature. We are tainted by Original sin. It has been called the sin of the generations, passed on from age to age. St. Paul said, “the good that I would, I do not, and the evil that I would not, I do.” (We all carry the dream to live perfect lives.)

Only our Lady was free from all sin, and so we praise her saying, ‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.’

And now today we are being called to PERFECTION! Impossible, you may think? Even in the beginning the Lord said to Moses, ‘Be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy.’ Jesus repeats this in the gospel when he says, ‘Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

But how? By loving our neighbour as ourselves is the answer given by the Lord to Moses. But Jesus takes us into the honours class of love and forgiveness.

The pass class puts no pressure on us. It is that comfort zone, where one could harbour a secret mischievous desire, that all enemies might slip on that proverbial banana skin one day! Yes, it is a comfortable place, but all the followers of Christ have to take an honours paper!

Most of us would be afraid to be perfect or holy. We would have to give up so much. St. Augustine wanted to be a saint, but he too said, not just yet, Lord!

Perhaps we could put all fear aside and try to be perfect or holy, if only just for today?

Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.