Our reading today about turning the other cheek is very misunderstood. Jesus is not talking about the right to defend ourselves, but rather he is talking about the temptation to retaliate. Sadly retaliation is part of our culture today. Turn on the news and you know what I’m talking about.
Someone does something very wrong and the next thing that happens the crowd burns down a building. Our society is so bent on seeking vengeance that neither side can negotiate due to the extreme anger present. We as his followers need to follow his example of forgiveness and not give into the temptation to retaliate.
The next time you find yourself tempted to retaliate with sharp word when someone is rude to you, ask Jesus to give you the strength to keep quiet. One of my groupies calls this “pressing the pause button”. If there is a long-standing hurt in your heart, pray about whether there is anger or a desire for revenge in your heart also. Then ask him for help in forgiving the one who hurt you.
Being a person of forgiveness is not easy and doesn’t come automatically. Yet with Jesus help we can conquer evil with good. Doesn’t the world need that right now !!
DeColores, Deacon Doug