March 11th, 2017: Matthew 5:43-48.
In his book Mere Christianity, the British Anglican writer, C.S. Lewis, includes a reflection on the gospel reading we have just heard which can hardly be bettered. Here it is:
“On the one hand, God’s demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And he knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. On the other hand you must realize from the outset towards which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal. That is what you are in for. And it is very important to realize that. If we do not, then we are very likely to start pulling back and resisting Him after a certain point . . .
"But this is a fatal mistake. Of course we never wanted, and never asked, to be made into the sort of creatures He is going to make us into. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when he made us.”