PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, whatever mood I'm in, help me be nice to other people, because that's like being nice to you! Amen.

"When I come back at the end of the world," Jesus said, "I'll separate the good people from the bad. I'll say to the good ones, 'Come to heaven, because I was hungry and you fed me; thirsty, and you gave me a drink; naked, and you clothed me; sick or in jail and you visited me. When you did this for others, you did it for me.' But, to the bad, I'll say, 'When you wouldn't help others, you weren't helping me. Now, you're left out of heaven.'"

Nobody's perfect, but there's one basic rule Jesus wanted people to live by: Be nice.

In fact, Jesus wanted us to try our hardest to be nice to others all the time! Be nice when you're cranky and people are annoying you. Be nice when you're busy and it's inconvenient. Be nice when you're scared and don't want to put yourself out there. Be nice when you're tired and want to be left alone.

This week's Gospel (Matthew 25:31-46) is about that rule. Jesus says that, someday, He'll come back. Whenever that happens, He wants to make sure He finds us being nice to each other, so we can go to heaven.

Being nice has a rebound effect: People are usually nice to you in return. Even cranky or annoying people, when you're nice to them, will often calm down and be nicer.

In the Gospel, Jesus also throws in a surprise: When you're nice to other people, you're really being nice to Him. The opposite is also true: Since everyone is made by God, whenever you're not nice to another person, you're disrespecting God.

Being nice has no bad effects. You can't get in trouble for being nice to people, even when it's the last thing you want to do. On the other hand, being disrespectful can have seriously negative effects. Jesus said that, when He comes back, the people who have been nice will go to heaven. The people who haven't been nice will miss out.

It's simple: Be nice!