None of us will ever be perfect no matter how earnestly we try to be so. So why then does Jesus command us to be perfect?
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus wants us to be “perfect” as the Father is perfect. What does that mean? It means that we should love each other in the same way that the Father loves us. He loves us unconditionally, despite our faults. We don’t earn God’s love, we receive it as a free, loving gift.
Give that free gift to one another.