“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” - Mother Teresa
Gospel Text: (MT 5:43-48)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
So how do you grow into this perfection that the Lord speaks about in today's gospel? Self-improvement programs won’t produce the change, and neither will piling on Lenten disciplines and spiritual calisthenics. It comes as you try your best to use your talents and gifts in a way that glorifies the Lord and lifts up the people around you. It comes as you focus on one or two roadblocks in your life: an unresolved resentment, an unhealthy habit, or a skewed way of thinking about life. Look for the things that keep you from becoming the person you know you can become.
Today, ask the Lord how he wants you to grow and change. Let him shine the light of his love on your heart. Let him show you both the person you’re meant to be and the person you are right now. Then come up with one or two things you can do to help bridge the gap between these two visions.
Blessed John Henry Newman once said, “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” As you seek to hear and follow Jesus, may you change—and often—throughout this Lenten season!