Saturday of the First Week of Lent – Day 11

Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek God with all their heart. (Psalm 119: 1-2)

READING: Matthew 5:46-48

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?

47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?

48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

In Jesus’ time, tax collectors spent time with tax collectors, but they did not spend time with the common people. As a result, mistrust and hostility developed. The people came to hate tax collectors and the tax collectors often abused their power. There was no love or compassion. This is what happens when we make no effort to know others who are different from us.

So our challenge as Christians is to get to know others even if they are different from us. They may belong to another religion, another race, or speak a different religion. Or they could be like us, but come from a different group of people. Think about the elderly, the homeless, the disenfranchised.

We should make a greater effort to know these people, and in so doing we will find we are very much alike. We are all worthy of love.


Heavenly Father, show me the opportunity to extend welcome and warmth to those who are different from me. Let me see your face in the face of strangers. Let me welcome these people the same as I would welcome you.

I will look to find someone who is different, with whom I would not normally associate. It may be a distant coworker, a shut-in neighbor or someone who is unlike me. I will make an effort to get to know this person and make them feel welcome.

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