Jesus did not tell us to be perfect. He told us to be complete, or well rounded.

Tuesday, 6/16/15

 In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us to be loving, forgiving, chaste, and kind. Then, according to our English translation he concluded by saying, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

However, that is not exactly what St. Matthew quoted Jess as saying. Matthew did not write, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Writing in Greek, the word Matthew quoted Jesus as saying was we should be teleioi. That word means “complete,”or “well rounded.”

If you or I strive to be perfect, we might fall into pride, like the little girl who has done so well in school that she cries out, “Mother, mother, mother, pin a rose on me.”

When a religious superior: an abbot or abbess, tells his or her novices to strive for perfection, their young ones could become too absorbed in themselves, rather than in prizing the goodness of others.

God wants us to be well rounded Christians, laughing, mourning, praying, or singing: just whatever the occasion calls on a well rounded person to do. 

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