Lenten Prayer Reflection by Jake Ziede

Feb 28 2015

Matthew 5:43-48

In the Gospel, Jesus gives his disciples a challenge: to give love and kindness to all people without exception. The old order instructed the Jews to love their friends but hate their enemies. To combat this, Jesus parallels the Father’s love with the love we are all called to give. Jesus compares that love to the forces of nature. Sunshine does not discriminate against those with evil in their hearts. Rain is ignorant of all the good or bad those who will be affected by it have done. Just as the wind blows on us all equally, so does the Father love us all equally. Jesus knows well the fragile hearts we carry; He knows that this is not an easy commandment to live out. That is precisely why we must love those who hate us. As Christians, we are called to higher responsibilities as those who call themselves “Children of God”. Though what He asks for is hard, He would never ask of us something that we are not capable of.
Jesus tells us that loving those who love us is not in any way a hard task. Even evil men are capable of loving their allies. As Christians, we have to separate ourselves from everyone else. If we don’t, the only difference between us and them is merely a name and that’s not what discipleship is about. Although it is powerful, prayer is not enough to become like the Father; we must love and act as He did.