The last line of today’s Gospel has always fascinated me. What does it really mean? Does it really imply that it is possible for us to be perfect in this life? I am still not sure of the answer to the last question. I know I wish that that is exactly what it means but there is something within me that tells me that it is not possible to be perfect this side of eternal life. Yes, perfection can and should be the goal of every Christian. But can this goal be reached this side of death?

I think something of the answer to this problem relies upon how radical we want to be. How willing are we to totally submit our lives to the Gospel? How willing are we to actually love our enemies in practical ways and not just seek revenge? How willing are we to move beyond our boundaries of comfortability and let the Holy Spirit take over and lead us on the unknown path paved by the Son of God? These are the types of questions for which each of us must find answers.

Jesus challenges us that true love; true commitment to God, takes us beyond what is the normally accepted and expected human practice in any given situation. This is where the ultimate challenge lies for us. Maybe we should focus on increasing our level of radicalness each day rather than worrying about whether or not it is possible to reach total perfection in this life. It is probably much more sensible to focus on the little steps that will enable us to complete the longer journey over time. One step each day brings us one step closer to our goal each day! In the long term I think that is all God asks of us: to respond daily to the grace that He offers and to allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest! This is both a reasonable and an achievable goal to have placed before us.

How different am I willing to be for the sake of the Gospel? Do I give in to the peer pressure around me or am I willing to stand up for the Gospel?

Jesus, you never compromised the truth. You stood firm in the face of suffering. You have shown us the way to salvation. Help me to follow in your footsteps.