Martin reminds that everyone has been created by God and that we are are all God's children. Good or evil, Christian or not, there is not one faction or another, nor that one group is human and another is not. We are all God's creation and worthy of His love. "[God] makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust." (Matthew 5:45b)
Why else should we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? (cf. all of Matthew chapter 5)
And so it is. While still not baptized and still beholden to the traditions of the Roman gods, his simple act of giving a beggar part of his cloak earned him the approval of Jesus. There are many who either have not heard the Good News or because of hurt or pain from the human Church do not recognize or acknowledge Christ but who still do the will of the Father. Fortunately for them -- and us -- we believe God's mercy and salvation is not contained by our ability to forgive and is open to all God's children.
Jesus appears in forms to us all, no matter how deeply we believe or not. Jesus is not interested only in those who follow him, but is here for all to bring all to the Father. "I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." (Luke 15:7)
Martin help us to be more Christ-like, especially with those we do not agree with or who we see as not worthy of God's love.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
-- Matthew 7:21-23
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
-- Matthew 9:9-13
Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them [that], “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
-- Mark 2:13-17
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
-- Luke 5:27-32