The Bond of Perfection

Recently, I was thinking of favorite Gospel passages. You know, the ones that people can rattle off the top of their head. A quick scan of mine came up with The Golden Rule, Psalm 23, and John 3:16. Today’s liturgical offerings are chock full of amazing options:

Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy. Lv 19:2

Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect Mt 5:48

The invitation to holiness and perfection can be daunting, but it is the mission we receive from the moment of our baptism. How do we carry this out? Imitation of Christ, I think, is the only way.

The Lord is Kind and Merciful

Why aren’t there more believers in God?

The responsorial psalm assures us of the following facts about the Lord Our God.

He pardons all our iniquities, heals all our ills, redeems our life from destruction and crowns us with kindness and compassion. He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He does not deal with us according to our sins and does not punish us for our crimes! In fact, He casts our transgressions as far from Himself as the East is from the West.

Is there any person, corporation, or nation with such a manifesto? And yet, if one goes by the daily news, this world of ours is going to hell in a handbasket at mach speed. It’s astounding but more importantly, it’s a call to arms for all who dare to bear the name Christian.

An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth, Forsooth!

Matthew 5:38-48 makes compelling reading, I would go further, it’s startling. It’s the complete opposite of the world view. Let’s consider. Offer no resistance to one who is evil? Offer the left cheek when your right cheek has just been struck? Offer your suit if someone demands a shirt? Go two miles instead of one? And the ante is just upped the further you delve in. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. And the punch line: Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

I told you it was startling. It’s also impossible. Unless, we learn to rely more on the indwelling of the Trinity and less on the form we see in the mirror.

To return to the mission. It’s to let the love of God flow into our hearts and overflow to all we meet. Imagine if we could learn to curb our molten tongue and let kindness flow when we’re rightfully or wrongfully wronged. Imagine if we could truly love our enemies. I invite you to read the chill. but inspiring story of a Nigerian family that stared martyrdom in the face and refused to abandon their faith. Google up the story of Manga on Aleteia. Even as the young man was being attacked by Boko Haram terrorists, He prayed: Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.

Perfected by the Love of God

The incident with Manga’s family happened as recently as 2012. How did they have the courage to live and die the way they did? Manga concludes his interview with these amazing words: May the hunger and thirst for God be even greater in your heart.

We must pray for persecuted Christians around the world, just as they pray for us. It’s an urgent reminder that the world is in need of courageous witnesses. We need to be always prepared to share the reason for our faith. One way is to let the word of God take root in our hearts and souls and transform us from inside out. Just as today’s gospel verse reminds us.

Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him. – 1 Jn 2:5

Then, perhaps, and unlike John Lennon’s famous song, living out the perfect love through intimacy with the Trinity would manifest Heaven on Earth – and we wouldn’t need to imagine it.

[Readings: Lv 19:1-2, 17-18; 1 Cor 3:16-23; Mt 5:38-48]

D'Souza Family

The D’Souza family who go by the moniker, Unity Flame, consists of Patrick and Juliet and their three daughters, Naomi, Nicole, and Nadine. Patrick and Juliet spent their formative years in India and have been married 26 years. Being a missionary is at the heart of their family. Patrick and Juliet are members of the Regnum Christi movement, have homeschooled their children, and have been active members of their parish church and small Catholic community. Their daughters have been active participants as in the Challenge girls clubs, which emphasize formation, friendship with Christ, and virtue-driven leadership programs. Naomi and Nadine have each spent a “gap” year between high school and college as missionaries in the Philippines and Atlanta. Contact: [email protected]


  1. Gavin Desouza on March 5, 2023 at 12:35 am

    Great work cousin! God bless!

  2. Stephen Ellis on February 20, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Beautiful & well written reflection, Patrick. Thank you!

  3. Nancy J Coffey on February 19, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for this inspirational article. May God bless you all 🙏

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