“‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’” (Matthew 10:40-42) This whole reward thing might give us pause. Aren’t we supposed to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do? Is not virtue its own reward, and so on and so forth… That would create a problem for us here except for verse 40: “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me.” We are getting a hint of what Jesus will spell out more completely in the parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Not only are we called to see Jesus in the poor, but you and I are also called to be bearers of Christ; therefore, he is welcomed when we are welcomed. Moreover, just like in Matthew 25, the reward is ever and always to be welcomed into the presence of God. Perhaps the question for you and me is this: are we living so that others may see our Lord in us? Are we helping or hindering others from welcoming the One who is life? Are we willing to consider welcoming those whom we assumed could never be welcome? Social distancing could be habit forming. Are we willing to reach out again (in a responsible way, of course)? We don’t ever welcome perfectly (at least I don’t!) but in spite of that we have our reward: the One who forgives sinners like us and empowers us to live transformed lives. Have a great week.