Here is an excerpt from the introduction of Holiness is Always in Season by Pope Benedict XVI in which Leonardo Sapienza comments briefly on the last verse of today’s gospel reading:
For a Christian, what is true perfection?
Christ’s words are clear, sublime, and disconcerting: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
To have God as you model of perfection! Now there is a dizzying thought! Yet the Second Vatican Council has already reminded us: “All the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his own way, to that perfect holiness whereby the Father himself is perfect” (Lumen Gentium, 11).
The Church reminds us that holiness is not the concern of a privileged few, nor does it pertain only to Christians of the past. Holiness is always in season; it is and always will be a call to every Christian of every age, a challenge that remains current for anyone who desires to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI says: “Holiness … never goes out of fashion; on the contrary, with the passage of time it shines out ever more brightly, expressing man’s perennial effort to reach God.”