Have you ever seen God? How did you know? Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have lived in the time of Jesus? We can understand the words of Philip, “Show us the Father.” There is something that can take root in our hearts, that desire placed there by God for us to see God. In fact, such is the purpose of our lives, is it not? To experience the Beatific Vision?
“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Easy, right? After challenging us to be as attentive to the interior of our lives as well as the exterior, Jesus ends with what seems to be spoken as if it were easy. And, the truth is, were we to follow Jesus with our whole heart, it would be.
Just what is the way to perfection? To be sure, we look to Jesus as the Way, Truth and Life. But how is it that we get on that “Way”? What do we need to do? Who do we need to be? As with everything, it all starts with God. It can run counter to our western understanding of life to say this. Wait, it does not all start with me? I just need to be more active. do more things, work on more projects, and I will be perfect, right?
Quite honestly, the way to perfection is to recognize the God who made us, and to be that person. We are made in the image and likeness of God. If we are really to be what and who we were created to be, then we would be perfect. But of course, we sin. We do not always strive to act like God acts.
Such is the fundamental choice Moses lays out before the people. Observe the decrees of God (be perfect), or life will ultimately turn out badly (choosing death). We should not get confused here. Being perfect is not, however, a choice of checking off a set of rules on a piece of paper. No, being perfect, as Jesus tells us in the gospel, is to have that heart that is inclined to God’s will. It is making sure the grace of God makes its way into the very depths of our heart and soul.
To do that means very much to be hearers and doers of the Word. To turn our lives over to the God of majesty who has more in store for his followers than can possible be imagined. So, choose life and be perfect.