WHEN RAIN FALLS AND SUN SHINES
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. Matthew 5 : 44-45
• In Matthew’s Gospel (5 : 39) we were invited to “offer the wicked man no resistance”. And in the same passage (5 : 44) Jesus pushes the boat out further into the deep by commanding us to love our enemies and those who persecute us.
That’s a tough call for me and many other people, but I know it has to be done. Our Lady reminds me of this when she says I am to behave with equal goodness and generosity to the souls I meet because God shows immeasurable goodness to me and I am bound to respond to this gift of unconditional love. God’s gift of sun and rain, so necessary for life on earth, is given to everyone, the bad and the good alike.
I remember reading or hearing somewhere that all wars begin in the heart, so always an indication to the level of peace in my heart is how busy I have become skirmishing and battling with others. And even if I was to shut myself off from the world the battle can still be inclined to rage – but only with myself.
It seems the “enemy” is never far away, but then I am consoled by the truth that God is even closer, even if I do fail to acknowledge his presence at times. In the final sentence of Matthew’s gospel (28 : 30) Jesus says we should know that he is with us always, to the end of time, and I guess that includes the good times and the not-so-good times, the sunny days and rainy days, the times of persecution and the occasions of goodness and generosity.
Time with Jesus, whatever the circumstances, whoever the enemy, is a time of grace.
And when the rain falls and the sun shines we are sometimes blessed to see a rainbow. Then I am reminded of the words in Genesis (9 : 16)... God said, “When the bow is in the clouds I shall see it and call to mind the lasting Covenant between God and every living creature of every kind that is found on earth.”