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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2018
(Part 53)

BEING PERFECT


August 20, 2018
Today’s gospel: Matthew 19:16-22

The rich young man was a good person, observing the commandments of God (v.20a). He wanted to make it to heaven (v.16) and was told by Jesus that keeping the commandments would gain him entry (v.17c). But the young man yearned for more. “What do I still lack?” (v.20b). Jesus saw that he was yearning for perfection (v.21a). Jesus then told him to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and then follow him (v.21b). But the young man could not part with his possessions, and went away sad (v.22).

As Christians, we do have to keep the commandments. If we do so, we will make it to heaven. Keeping the commandments will move us along the path to holiness. But there is more. There is Christian perfection. Jesus himself commands it (see Mt 5:48). Perfection is the fullness of being destined for greatness.

Jesus says, “There is only One who is good.” (v.17b). And more so, there is only one who is great. That is God. We are destined for greatness because we are children of God, made in His image and likeness, and called to be like Him. Ultimately we will enter into eternal life with God, to be in heaven where we will be perfect. Such is greatness. Such is our destiny.

If we truly understand our destiny, and if we truly desire what God has destined us for, then we should go all the way. At the lowest level of salvation is repentance and obedience to the commandments of God. But though we can already make it to heaven, we do not stop there. We are to grow in holiness, not just avoiding sin but striving to live the way of Jesus. But we should strive for even more. That is perfection. It is a total giving of self to Jesus, following him wherever he goes.

This means that there can be no distractions or obstructions. It is letting go of possessions that detract and distract us from focusing totally on Jesus. Possessions are material things and also emotional attachments, including our own personal dreams and priorities. We cannot serve both God and mammon. If we love relatives more than Jesus, we are not worthy of him. It is about letting go of the world. It is about self-denial and a total offering of self.

As Christians, we are indeed destined for greatness. The level of greatness depends on how far we let go of what is of the world, and how closely we follow Jesus.

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