For the Christian disciple, perfection is everything. "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5). But in what sense? The young man who came to Jesus in Mt 19 had the same question, and was challenged to look beyond simply following commandments to a living relationship with Jesus himself. Part of this challenge was for the young man to let go of his wealth, and in response he went away "for he had many possessions." The Christian disciple is called to the same radical commitment to Christ, requiring a proper detachment from things of this world. This goes for even good things! Without this growth in spiritual detachment, so much can get in the way as an idol: people, things, ideas, activities, and so on. But if these are put in their proper place, the Holy Spirit has room in which to operate so that even what was an idol can become a means to our true perfection in Christ.
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on August 17, 2020