“He makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

Hang on a minute! Isn’t that unfair? Why don’t the good and the just get special treatment? At the very least, the bad and the unjust should get the shorter end of the stick. If God is perfectly just, then shouldn’t that be the way things go? Well, not really. God’s justice encompasses something much more profound than a heavenly balance sheet. And that’s a good thing for us. For in the end, we are all sinners, aren’t we?

It’s still the early days of Lent. Now is a good time to ask yourself what you want to get out of this sea­son—fairness or love? Our heavenly Father is perfect, and Jesus tells us to be like him. What makes him per­fect? Is it only that he is fair? Not exactly. If that were the case, none of us would be in very good shape. Even though we are made in God’s image, we have all sinned. None of us really merits heaven on our own. If we ask God for fairness, we will get both sides of the coin: reward for our good actions, but punishment for the bad.

Thank God that his justice, his fairness, his wisdom, and all his attri­butes find their perfection in his love! It is love that makes him mer­ciful to those who don’t deserve it, and that includes you! He loves you, receives you, and calls you his child despite your sin. This is the triumph of divine love! And it is the perfec­tion of God’s justice!

Don’t waste your time comparing yourself with other people. It’s not worth the headache! Instead, simply rejoice that God’s mercy triumphs over human judgment—every time! And today in particular, with this Gospel passage in mind, look up into the sky. If it’s sunny out, praise the Lord for shining on everyone— good and bad. If it’s rainy, thank him for bringing refreshing nourishment to everyone—saint and sinner. He is a merciful, loving, gracious God, and he wants to bless all of us!

“Father, I cannot thank you enough for your mercy! I put aside my demands for fairness, and take hold of your perfect love instead. May that love fill me to overflowing so that I can share your mercy— your perfection—with everyone around me.”

Deuteronomy 26:16-19;

Psalm 119:1-2,4-5,7-8