Our lives are not meant to be lived in a mediocre way; we are meant to “be all we can be”. This may be the motto the Canadian Forces uses, but it aptly fits the Christian life as well-it is the manner which our Lord Himself calls us to live our lives too. In today’s Gospel we are called to go beyond the norm. Most of us are capable of loving enough to return the love we receive from others; but Christians are called to love even those who hate, dislike, despise us and that is the kind of love which we aren’t going to find on our own; it requires God’s gift of Himself (his grace) to live in this way and to do so joyfully. Jesus calls us to “go beyond” what the world and even the people around us might tell us is suitable or acceptable. Many of us, as men and women of faith spend our life simply trying to live by the “rule of life” which our faith sets out before us; but if that’s all we live for; our lives will only be mediocre and certainly less than all that they can be. We are reminded by our Lord today: “be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect”. The bar is high, and it needs to stay there. If we are to truly live an excellent and completely fulfilling life, we need to keep that bar high and constantly aim ourselves towards it.
I am often saddened when I meet people in confession who become so frustrated with failing to make the mark or to be perfect in their spiritual life and begin to give up. That is the worst thing that we can do and definitely not what the Lord wants for us. He wants us to constantly and always keep trying; He wants us to keep aiming ourselves for that bar and to never accept mediocrity.
In the end if we will commit ourselves today and every day to aiming for that bar set high and never accept mediocrity in our lives; be assured that this is one of the most valuable things each and any of us can do to grow in our commitment and determination to discover our vocation and then to live it out. May God bless you.