In our gospel today, Matthew 5:38-42, we hear Jesus say, “when someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If someone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well”. This kind of talk was counter-cultural back then, and it still is today. This really challenges our societal customs and natural instincts of retaliation against those who do us wrong.
If we followed the “Eye for an Eye” custom of retaliation back then, the whole world would be blind. Jesus explains to us a much better way of non-resistance and vulnerability. It is amazing what people can accomplish doing this. Just look at Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King for modern day examples. This is not to say that we should never stand up against wrong. Sometimes there is a time to stand up for ourselves, others and our Church, as Jesus did.
So let us look at our lives. If we are wronged, are we retaliating as the worldly customs and expectations demand, or are we turning the other check and trying to follow the better way of Jesus?
De Colores, Deacon Kevin