• GOSPEL PEARLS

To respond vigorously

Do not resist the evil one. (Matthew 5: 39)

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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, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. (Matthew 5: 38-42)

Jesus' ultimate goal is to lead his disciples to love other people even as themselves, and especially, when they are unlovable. In this sense, we must be willing to follow divine inspiration to turn our other cheek, if being meek with those who offend us is more helpful to their salvation than defending ourselves. However, this is Jesus’ advice and not a commandment. Jesus himself sometimes strongly defended himself against accusations. For example, during his trial before the Sanhedrin, he did not turn His other cheek to those who slapped Him, but declared the injustice of those who had beaten Him. Therefore, let us try and understand when it is better not to react to offences and when it is better for everyone, offended and offenders, to respond vigorously with the truth.

Dona Ora

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