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Feed My Sheep: “Love Does Not Have to Be Perfect”


We are all “a complex mixture of light and shadows”…

The Holy Father writes:

“We have to realize that all of us are a complex mixture of light and shadows. Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal. Love exists with imperfection. It bears all things and can hold its peace before the limitations of the loved one.”

As Pope Francis notes elsewhere: we are all works in progress. I would say that includes Peter, “a complex mixture of light and shadows” — and, of course, a figure of imperfection. He was not born a saint. He needed to walk with Christ, sometimes failing and lacking faith — even sinking in the stormy waves of life. But Christ’s hand was there to save him. Peter persevered. He prevailed.

And to him Jesus said, as he continues to say to us: “Follow me.”

To all of us in our imperfection, in our weakness, in our sin, Jesus sees us through the eyes of mercy. And he speaks to us now. He says: You can aim higher. You can reach further. You don’t have to be frustrated or despairing because of the daily haul of empty nets. You don’t have to be weighed down by mistakes and pride and ego and sin.

To all of us, Jesus extends this invitation: Follow me. Let me show you The Way.

The Church, in Her tenderness, wants to meet all of us where we are — as Jesus met his apostles on the seashore — and guide us in a different direction.

From what I’ve been able to read so far, that is part of the message of “Amoris Laetitia.”

As we prepare to receive Christ in the Eucharist, may we remember that we are all “a complex mixture of light and shadows” — imperfect beings seeking a path to perfection. Lord, I am not worthy, we pray. Speak but the word and my soul will be healed.

Christ, in his love and mercy, looks at us as he gazed at Peter on that morning long ago, and speaks the word that gives us hope.

Here is the way the leads us on the path to grace.

“Follow me.”

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