Although perfection is never within our grasp, many of us strive for it in various ways. Some try to perfect their careers. Others seek perfection in their athletic performance. Many attempt to perfect their appearances, grades, or resumés. Often these aspects of our lives, which become the focus of our energy and attention, cause us to worry, fret, and even doubt ourselves. Ultimately, perfection isn’t possible, yet we go to great lengths to reach for it.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to an equally impossible task, to love perfectly as God does. If we are honest and in tune with ourselves, we know that we fall short of this perfect love no matter how hard we try. Nevertheless, Jesus is telling us that this aspect of our lives, the way we love others, is something worth throwing our energy into.

Think of how much we could grow if we shifted our focus from perfecting other things in our lives to seeking perfection in the way we love. Ask yourself: What is one way I can work to perfect my love today?

—Aaron Pierre, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.