In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to go beyond our expected responses to human interactions. But, challenging as they are, his examples of this “beyond” are nonetheless still finite human actions and limited love. Jesus’ examples are shocking—but not nearly so shocking as what he really expects of us: “be perfect” as our “heavenly Father,” who gives Life (“sun rise” and “rain”) to “the just and the unjust” alike. Infinite actions. Limitless love. What a challenge!

We encounter God’s holiness or perfection in the traces of God’s glory all around us. For example, the glory of a sunrise or the refreshment of a rainfall, or the radiant smile of an innocent child or the limitless love of a selfless caregiver.