Turn the other cheek. Walk the extra mile. Love your enemies. Be perfect, be holy, just as your heavenly Father is holy. These are the Gospel imperatives that Jesus had for us to hear last Sunday. Tough words; much easier said than done.
In the reading from the Old Testament book of Law, Leviticus, we also heard last Sunday: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (19:2).” Holiness of life (or whole-y-ness of life) is what God commands of us.
How do we lead a holy life? In our hearts, I think we really do know the answer to that question. In family conflicts, do not retaliate, but be kind. In dealing with someone who grates on your nerves, go the extra mile and extend a hand of friendship. In talking about our enemies, both “foreign and domestic,” do not be mean-spirited, but be gracious and open-minded. Be holy, be perfectly loving, just as your heavenly Father is loving.
In practicing the Christian Faith, being holy is not about nice manners; being holy is about loving others in the way that Jesus loves us.