“But I’m better than him at least.” Or sometimes, “I know I’m not perfect, but at least I’m not that bad.” Both in our First Reading and in our Gospel this Sunday, God presents us with one of His greatest challenges: “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” And Jesus in the Gospel: “You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Although we are called to love those around us, their holiness, or lack thereof, does not set the bar for our holiness — God’s holiness sets our bar!
Is this even possible, though? He never sinned and I already have. Too late for me, right? Let’s see. Every time we receive a Sacrament, we receive sanctifying grace and grace is God’s own life put within us. So when we receive grace, we receive God’s own perfect, holy, and sinless life that assimilates our own life and transforms it into His. So no, its never too late! Especially when we frequent the Sacrament of Confession. (Read that again if you didn’t get it — It’s important.)
On the most fundamental level, then, it’s definitely possible, but it is true that we don’t look and act like we’re perfect all the time. To remedy this, we are called to be imitators of Christ Jesus who became flesh to be an example for us (see CCC 459 and 1 Corinthians 11:1).
The greatest way we can imitate our Lord and saviour is by loving without limits. As St Teresa of Calcutta used to say: “Love isn’t love until it hurts.” Let us love until we have nothing else to give!