(Mt 5: 38-42)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
Vindictiveness and vengefulness, these are the kind of feelings that contributes to the escalation of violence. This may look perfectly alright in a society that is fiercely jealous of its possession. When something is exacted, a corresponding value must be paid. It has no room for forgiveness. The peace that ensues from such rigid possession rest uneasy and insecure.
This may be the reason why Jesus proposes a new way of seeing and evaluating what justice means. He wants us to embrace the violence of others and transform it with our meekness and gentleness. Now this calls for a real strength of the spirit and extraordinary self-discipline. Violence coming from violent people if faced head on with violence will not solve the problem. It will only postpone it to erupt again at a late time. Whereas violence can be transformed if the violent heart finds understanding and the willingness to suffer for his or her transformation. And once they forsake violence, we multiply the presence of people with goodwill. Let this be our silent revolution to rid the world of violence. Let our strength lie not in force but in love.
Daily Gospel 2017