We as the church, the body of Christ, for whom God has made Christ the head over all things, are to do as Jesus did and enter into the lives of the needy and the outcast in such a way that we become implicated in their plight. This is the essence of discipleship. Jesus – the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, through whom all things came into being, he who has suffered as we do and has defeated death – has redeemed all people, whether or not they look like they have been redeemed! What we are required to do, then, is recognize the redemption that has already taken place and lift it up for all the world to see. We do so when we enter into relationships with those on the margins of society and bring them into the center of society. Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High” (Lk 6:32-35).
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