Reflection by Joe Wetterling
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
“What’s in it for me?” That’s such a common modern refrain. Why do I get for my effort? What do I get in return? In our fallen state, most of us struggle with those thoughts at least once in a while.
In today’s gospel, while Jesus is calling us to care for others, He still gives us the “WIIFM”. God stoops down to meet us in our weakness, in our need, and even in our self-centeredness. In that way, here Jesus tells us that the Father “makes His sun rise on the bad and the good” and the next day comes. He “causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust” – a good thing if you have crops to grow and animals to feed. What’s in it for us is just that, the opportunities to be like God and do the same. What a supreme gift, to be able to do what God does! What a gift to be able to act not just on His behalf but in His manner: to make our sun shine on others, even those who have been bad to us.
When Jesus tells us to “be perfect”, it is not an impossible challenge but rather an invitation to be like our Heavenly Father. He is calling us to be like God. God shines light on everyone, and so can we. We shine light on others like He does when we love them, as the Gospel tells us. God causes the rain to fall on them, and so can we. We rain God’s grace and blessing on others when we pray for them. In loving others and in praying for them, even — especially — those who have wronged us, we can not only do something good but something Godly. We can be like Him, and that is God’s ultimate WIIFM: Himself.
Which person who has been unjust to me is God calling me to pray for?
Father, thank You for showing me how to love like You. Please give me Your grace to love and pray for those who have wronged me.
Copyright 2020 Joe Wetterling
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