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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Gospel Spoke to Me (Part Three)

I've noticed that the more time I spend reading & reflecting on the Bible, the more I'm "hearing" God speak to me. You can read my previous sections here: Part One & Part Two

Since I wrote the first one, I've been trying to figure out exactly what God has been trying to tell me about my calling to serve Him. In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus called Peter as one of His first disciples. Peter's response? "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" Peter was not perfect.

James Martin, SJ says in his book, My Life with the Saints,

"...a perfect man might never have been willing to set down his nets and follow Jesus....A perfect man would never have denied Jesus and therefore would never have understood the human desire for forgiveness. A perfect man would never have argued with the other disciples and therefore would never have understood the need for reconciliation. A perfect man would never have realized how desperately he really needed Jesus, and would never have understood how this truth is the basis of all discipleship....Sometimes I wonder if Jesus chose Peter not despite his imperfections but because of them."

So how does this effect my understanding of this Gospel passage? I, too, am not perfect! I'm sorry, did I surprise you there w/ that statement?!? Well, here's another one...you're not perfect either! None of us are & we're not supposed to be! In my neverending quest to achieve perfection, many times I compare myself to others. "Her children are ALWAYS perfectly groomed, well-mannered, and pleasant to be around! Her house is ALWAYS in order, nothing out of place & so clean, you can eat off the floor! And, she is ALWAYS well-dressed, NEVER has a hair out of place, & NEVER has an argument with her husband!"

In the conclusion of the above mentioned book, James Martin, SJ uses the example of a young mother lamenting the fact that she does not have a holier life for herself between her husband, two children, & full time job. She compares herself to Mother Teresa & wishes she could be more like her. "...in reality, she might be lousy at the type of work that Mother Teresa used to do. To underline this point, Mother Teresa might have been lousy at the work that this working mother is doing!"

This point really hit me. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to be just like that OTHER mother. I don't have to do it all. There will be plenty of perfection in Heaven. So for now, I will try to focus on fixing my imperfections by NOT comparing myself to others. I know God will continue to work on me & there is definitely a LOT of work cut out for HIM. But at the same time, I have a LOT of work cut out for me too! Don't we all?