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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Pursue Perfection

by Fr. David M. Knight


June 18, 2024

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time 

Lectionary 366 

1 Kgs 21:17-29/Mt 5:43-48  

 


1Kings 21:17-29 is an example of God’s unbelievable love. We have seen how Ahab let Jezebel commit cold-blooded murder, just to acquire a field he wanted. Scripture says of him: “No one gave himself up to the doing of evil in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel. He became completely abominable.” And God reacted with dire punishments. But when Ahab “tore his garments, put on sackcloth over his bare flesh and fasted” in penance, God said, “Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time.... [but] during the reign of his son.” 

 

Some things are so bad we feel that those who do them deserve no mercy. Surprise! God doesn’t think like we do. 

 

In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus tells us we have to start thinking like God. We have to show the same love to people that our Father shows to us; make our own the limitless compassion, forbearance, respect, mercy and gentleness that is the deepest mystery of God’s character. Love without boundaries. Forgiveness of the unforgivable. Jesus says: 

 

Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons and daughters of your heavenly Father.  

 

Jesus makes no bones about it. He concludes, “You must be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  In general, we haven’t accepted that. But the Church is proclaiming today: 

 

All the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of love.  Every Catholic must therefore aim at Christian perfection (cf. James 1:4; Romans 12:1-2). 

 

This is a call to perfection, to union of heart and mind and will with Christ. But how many people have explicitly embraced this as the goal of their lives? How many could spell out, in concrete terms, what they are doing to reach it? The plan Immersed in Christ, which these reflections support, is designed to make the path to perfection something very clear and simple. It is a five-step progression from cultivating awareness of our identity as Christians (“Our Father who art in heaven”); to commitment to discipleship (“Hallowed be thy Name!”); to dedication to mission (“Thy Kingdom come!”); to surrender to letting Christ express himself in and through us in ministry (“Thy will be done!”); to the total abandonment of all we have and are as stewards of his kingship (“Give... and forgive....”). 

 

These reflections offer easy suggestions to begin each step. All one has to do is accept the goal and begin. Will you? 

 

Initiative: Decide if you want to pursue perfection. If so, look into our plan at ImmersedinChrist.org.  


Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry




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