The Cathedral Connection 23 February 2020

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Ah perfectionism my old friend. Often leaving me struggling against myself, or giving up before I’ve even given something a go because I ‘know’ that I can never do it to the level I or others would like me to. I’m not sure about you, but when I hear the call to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me, I freeze.

These words come early in Jesus’ ministry and nearly three years later his own enemies would capture and persecute him. Would he really love and pray for his persecutors? Heck, I think we all would have understood if he decided to deny his earlier teaching; but, as we all know, there on the cross, Jesus cried out: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

So if Jesus can do it, then surely I can, right? Each of our readings offers us guidelines to help us reach our potential. Indeed, loving our enemies takes a lot of learning about others as well as ourselves. It is a process of growth and transformation.

Christ showed his eternal love for us when he sacrificed his life on the cross. It was not sin that took Christ to the Cross, but love. And it is this love that guides us. His hands outstretched on the cross offer us that gift of transformation. This is not a one minute wonder product, but something that allows us to grow and mature, and it takes time. As we learn about others we move beyond our own prejudices and fears and grow in ourselves.

As Pope Francis says “… the way to perfection is found in these small steps … small steps of charity and love.” So, don’t let a drive to always get things right first time stop you from starting. Allow holiness to shape your life for the good of others as well as yourself. Christ’s love is a gift of transformation to be perfectly holy, by eliminating hatred and in turn gifting ourselves to each other in love.

Michael Fletcher
Director of Music

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