Perfection comes not from what we have, but from what we give up…

c. 1632

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Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  So be perfect, 30 just as your heavenly Father is perfect.  (Matthew 5:48)

Observation:  As it says in the footnote for this verse, perfection is only mentioned twice in the gospels.  Here, and in the 19th chapter of this same gospel of Matthew.  The other time that perfection is noted, it is about selling what you have and giving to the poor.  Although, I am sure this reference to perfection is more related to the context that Jesus was talking about earlier in the gospel reading for today’s Mass, it is still about not hoarding the gifts that he gives us, but sharing them with others.  Perfection comes only to those willing to give up everything unrelated to fulfilling God’s mission.

Personification:  Joy  It is only by displaying real joy in the midst of having nothing that we can truly be sure that God’s love is shining through our joyful face.  To show joy at reception of some gift or treasure of this earth is possible for anyone, but showing joy in the midst of nothing is only for those who are following the will of God.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to show joy while I am suffering the trials of this life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.