DAILY HOMILY FOR THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: The Other Cheek
BY: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
HOMILY FOR MONDAY JUNE 13 2022
Jesus challenged the culture of vengeance, also known as the culture of ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ (lex talionis-law of such equivalence) (Matthew 5:38). Lamech’s cry in the Old – Testament gives a vivid example of vengeance. He said, “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times” (Genesis 4:23-24). In his revolutionary teaching, Jesus said to his disciples, “When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” (Matthew 5:39). Commentators have interpreted this passage rightly and wrongly. For some it means after the second slap, the person who is attacked is free to retaliate and for others it means absolute passiveness in the face of evil. The followers of Christ have a duty to question and challenge those who attack them. During the trial of Jesus in the presence of the High Priest, an official struck him and Jesus asked him, “IfI have said something wrong, testify to what is wrong, but if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” (John 18:23). This is the peaceful and non-violent resistance we are called to imitate. How possible is it to love bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, terrorists, and violent people who are determined to steal, kill and destroy us? What attitudes do we put up towards our enemies and those who humiliate us?
Matthew 5:38-42; Monday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time.