Posted by: livingscripture | June 18, 2018

Eleventh Monday of Ordinary Time

 FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Monday June 18, 2018

     Week Eleven of Ordinary Time 

 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. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.  If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.  Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.  (Matthew 5: 38-42)

 

 How shall I live this Word?

Today’s text of Matthew’s Gospel, together with the passage of tomorrow which is its continuation, is part of the famous “Discourse of the mountain” that is the essence of the moral message of Jesus.

Unfortunately, in our human nature is inscribed an ancient law that sounds like this: every evil action against us must correspond to another appropriate reaction of the same order (“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”). It is not easy, not to say impossible, to free ourselves from this rigid mechanism that makes us only ‘reactive’ and not free in front of others. How can we free ourselves from this infernal chain that makes us all enemies? This is precisely the meaning of the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel: “But I tell you not to oppose the wicked; in fact, if someone slaps you on the right cheek, you can turn the other one too”.

Turning the other cheek is not at all a sign of weakness, as one might think at first sight, but on the contrary, it is a sign of an ‘other’ force, superior, the only one capable of blocking the chain of reactions. In a world like ours where the logic of opposing dominates and lives by the mechanisms of reaction, it is important to do something different to break the short circuit of unstoppable evil.

The evangelical discourse of Jesus is deliberately provocative, because the Master wants us to understand that the measure of divine love is the excess, the excess-exaggeration of the Agape, and this goes beyond any human rule of what is ‘politically correct’.

I invite you to make our own the beautiful liturgical prayer given below.

 The Voice of the Liturgy, Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation

With the power of the Spirit you act in the heart of hearts,

So that enemies open to dialogue, opponents shake hands,

and peoples meet in harmony.

For your gift, Father, the sincere search for peace extinguishes disputes,

love wins over hatred, and revenge is disarmed by forgiveness “.

.___________________________________________________

 

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