Tuesday January 17, 2017 Perfect

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  Matthew 19:21

I have always wanted to be “perfect”.  Struggling with what counselors and Psycho-analysts call “perfectionist tendencies” is something that they viewed as detrimental because I would be too hard on myself and nothing I did was ever “GOOD enough”.  Jesus used the word though and gave a pretty amazing directive in order to arrive at the goal that He set.  Incredible people have lived out this way of life.  Famous ones that we all know like St Anthony, St Benedict and Mother Teresa and so many more who followed this way of life in silence.  All those who followed the way of the ascetics in the desert chose this life over wealth and comfort.

It is hard to even imagine what that would look like especially when I pack the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations that I cram into the garage.  I read recently of a man who decided to rid his life of stuff and now only has 100 possessions.  That is the total of everything:  clothes, dishes, furniture, décor, books etc.  It blows my mind to consider this since I have 65 houses in my Christmas village.  I don’t know if he gave his money to the poor but just the purging of stuff inspires me to ask why!

Many have prayed and struggled over these words.  The homilists that I have heard through the years give explanations that go something like:

  • God wants us to love HIM more than our things;
  • Be generous with the poor;
  • You can opt NOT to be perfect! But do so at the peril of your immortal soul.

So, the bottom line is coming to grips with the fact that when I get to the pearly gates, will God judge me on the stuff I have accumulated or what I have shared with others?  Obviously, when I read this verse, I know the answer.  What will my response be to the Lord’s question, “Did You love me enough?”  Do I really want to be perfect in God’s eyes?

Lord, Help me to love you perfectly!  Open my eyes to see how I can share all that you have graced to me with those who are struggling.  Help me to give myself to those who need a friend and to give my money to those who do not know where their next meal is coming from.  To share my wisdom with those who need a mentor.  To allow others to share themselves with me when I am struggling as well.  This is a gift to them! 

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