Monday, February 20, 2023

"Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect" homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023


“Be Perfect as your Heavenly Father is Perfect”

A lot of us hear that and think that Jesus does not REALLY mean we should be perfect…but Jesus does want us to be perfect moving forward…and we stand on the cusp of a great season to help us grow in perfection…

Lent start this Wednesday with Ash Wednesday Masses and Liturgy of the Word services with ashes.  The season of Lent provides three ways we can grow closer to perfection

Prayer.  What are we adding to our prayer life every day this lent?  Maybe it is a daily rosary if you haven’t been praying that, maybe it is the daily Mass readings if you haven’t been doing that.  Also on the topic of prayer just know that one of the most confessed sins is distraction in prayer and distraction at Mass.  Please know that it is NOT a sin to be distracted in prayer/Mass unless you are WILLING and ACTIVELY CHOOSING to be distracted.


Fasting is for Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59, excluding anyone who is sick, or suffers from Diabetes, nor are pregnant nor nursing mothers required to fast.  The 2 days of Fasting in the Catholic Church are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Fasting is one meal and 2 smaller meals that, added together, do not equal a meal.  Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all other Fridays during Lent we should also not eat meat if we are 14 years or older.  All those are the regulations and laws with Fasting, but we should also be fasting throughout Lent from something every day.  Maybe it is desserts and/or TV and/or social media…


Which leads into the third way we grow in perfection, and that is through giving alms to the poor.  In America, we are so tremendously blessed with wealth…are we sharing it with those around us???  Also, I think another import aspect to almsgiving is one that Pope Francis has made a central theme of his pontificate – to encounter the poor directly…to not just give them a handout but to have a conversation with them…to honor their human dignity.


Let us use this upcoming season of Lent to grow more perfect, day by day, and thus heed Jesus’s call in today’s Gospel to become perfect!

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