Posted by: livingscripture | June 13, 2011

Eleventh Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day 

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.

                                 Matthew 5: 38                                                                

How should we live this Word

Chapter five of Matthew is a discourse on the spirit that should animate the person and behavior of a disciple of Jesus, as seen in rapport with the law. Jesus is clear.  He did not come to abolish the law but to bring it to completion.  Today, He speaks of the law of revenge, a measure adopted in antiquity to avoid endless vendettas.  He does not contradict this point of the law, ‘an eye for an eye’ but He clarifies and modifies it, going beyond the external action to the heart’s desire from which all emanates. 

Jesus insists that we must not oppose the evil doer but the evil.  Evil is conquered with love and mercy, not with hate and revenge.  In fact, it is an invitation to treat every person the way God takes care of us.  Jesus’ disciple must cultivate great love and mercy like God’s ‘excessive’ love.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will rejoice in the fact that I am God’s child and Jesus’ disciple.  I have the law of love written in my heart and it allows me to call God ‘my Father’ and to recognize every person as my sister and brother. 

Lord Jesus, even if your teaching is clear, how often I am prone to slide into a vengeful attitude!  I condemn the person not the evil done as though he or she could never be recuperated, as though your blood had not redeemed them.  Open my eyes and my heart, Lord.  Grant me a heart that is upright and merciful.

The voice of Pope John Paul II 

Worthy therefore is the command for all persons to be converted from the evil conduct and the violence in their hands.  There is no person who does not need to be freed by Christ, because every person is, in a more or less grave way, a prisoner of the ego and its passions.

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