Monday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

 

June 15, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

First Book of Kings 21:1-16

Psalm 5

Matthew 5:38-42

 

There is a Spanish proverb that says, “To return evil for good is devilish.  To return good for good is human.  To return good for evil is Godlike.” 

When someone hurts or wrongs us, more often than not, we feel the need to personally see to it that someone pays for the hurt that they caused.  Why is that?  But in the process if we do take the vengeance road we hinder our own freedom and enjoyment of life by holding on to “un-forgiveness.”  What is even more hurtful is that the other person may not even be aware of our feelings and angst.  Having said that, please re-read the first paragraph. 

I find it odd that so many current movies share the same theme; vengeance.  I suspect that the reason for the genre is for financial concern.  The more action equals a bigger box office response.  The movies I speak of also appeal to the basic instinct that vengeance is a natural response to the slightest offense made toward someone.  Yet in today’s Gospel narrative Jesus forbids us to take revenge against another, regardless of the circumstances.  Having said that, please re-read the first paragraph.

Sisters and brothers, vengeance makes us less open to a loving relationship with others and it goes against as to who we are.  That is, created in the image and likeness of God. 

Our Lord Jesus gives a new standard based not just on the requirements of justice that is, giving each his/her due, but based on the law of grace and love.  Christ also makes clear that there is no room for retaliation.  We must not only avoid returning “evil for evil,” we must seek the good of those who wish us harm, regardless of its form. 

For the past several weeks our nation has experienced both violent and peaceful protests revolving around the important subject of racial equality and social justice.  We pray to our Risen Lord for a peaceful resolution to this critical issue and call for an end to the violence, injury, property damage and vengeance.   

The Greek philosopher Epictetus (50AD-135AD) said, “Forgiveness is better than revenge, for forgiveness is the sign of a gentle nature, but revenge is the sign of a savage nature.”  It certainly sounds as if he heard the Apostle Phillip preaching the Gospel in his country of Phrygia – doesn’t it.  Having said that, please re-read the first paragraph.

Question of the Day:  Will you turn your cheek to the one who offends you and offer forgiveness to that person?    

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we ask you to bring peace to our country and to our world.  We understand that violence and revenge against our fellow man is not the answer.  You have taught us to reach out to others in peace and fellowship in order to solve our difference.  Lord, You are the Prince of Peace, please speak to our hearts and bring us healing.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

 

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