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The good news for the day March 11, 2017

Saturday of the First Week in Lent (229)

Jesus says to his followers: “You hear what people have said, ‘You are supposed to love people around you and despise anyone who doesn’t like you,’ but I am telling you, ‘Love people who don’t like you, and bless people who scorn and upset you;  so that you may be children of your Father who is in the Realm of what is Right: Think! -He has His sun rise on people evil as well as good, and sends rain for good folks as well as bad. If you love just people who like you, what good is it? Don’t rich people do the same thing?  And if you say ‘hello’ just to your own family, how is that any different from everybody else? Don’t even ‘others,’ people outside your circle do the same thing. Be as extensive as your Father is in the Other Realm” (Matthew 5)

Holiness is difference—the choice to accept God as your Father—and to be different from “everybody else” because you believe that. You see people the way God does—fairly. He sheds rain for farmer and fisherman, for those who want it, and those who don’t. His same sun shines on you as well as your worst enemy, on the best saint and the worst sinner.

That is what God is like—and it is your way to peace of heart, to satisfaction of mind, and to constant growth in faith. You discover the goodness of enemies, and their suffering; you start to help others not because you agree or disagree, but because they are your family (of God). Often Jesus contrasts the hearty friendship among rich people with the sometimes over-caution of the poorer ones—you and me. Be as friendly as rich people—not because you share their social class, want to belong, hope to get a deal, or prosper from the friendship (as they do), but for the human reason—you see yourself there, you see suffering and hope, faith and confusion, principles and sins.

And so you love one another—and people will know you are a Follower of Jesus.  It is the good news you radiate—the difference. You treat people the way God, our Father, does.

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