Relationships (Mt 5:38-42)
Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me how to love as a disciple should.
Picture Jesus teaching kindness to his disciples.
“An eye for an eye” actually was a merciful regulation because in Jesus’ time this meant that all revenge must be limited. Jesus goes beyond this legal mercy. He speaks of moments of physical violence, lawsuits and forced labor. In these situations, the disciple must respond with extreme thoughtfulness, hoping to lead his opponent to faith in Jesus.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I say to you, Offer no resistance to evil. If someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other to him. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, then go two miles.
Give to him who asks and do not turn your back on the borrower.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus wants his Kingdom to spread. If his disciples act with kindness and forgiveness, people will listen to them.
- Does not retaliation just continue the circle of violence? Only when a person refuses to retaliate, does violence end.
- Jesus asks the disciple to be patient, so others can see how the Kingdom changes lives.
- Why invoke the law? Let the person have both your tunic and cloak.
- The extra generosity in going “the second mile” witnesses to Jesus’ Kingdom.
- After experiencing the disciple’s charity, hopefully, the person will listen to Jesus’ message.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, change me. Make my heart like your heart.
- Help me to bring everyone into your Kingdom, no matter what the cost!
- Jesus, I will set aside my interests for your interests. I will forget myself for your gospel.
- I will use every situation to bring the Kingdom to others.
- Jesus, if I never turn my back on anyone, you will not turn your back on me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will examine my relationships to others. Are they according to the Kingdom?
+ By my changed life, I will be a herald of the Kingdom.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Offer no resistance. Go a second mile. Hand him your tunic. Give to him who asks.