A Step beyond Justice
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
I will perform one small act of charity today: thinking or speaking well of someone, or offering myself to help someone.
by Father Timothy Walsh, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Lord, I wish to open my heart and let your Gospel
message penetrate me and change my life. I believe that you love me and that you died for me; yet
when tested by the demands of the Gospel, my faith and generosity waver. Nevertheless, once more I
confess my faith in you and my determination to work to please you
Jesus, teach me true charity!
1. Revenge or
"An eye for an eye..." - Revenge has a tantalizing attraction. Oh, how we enjoy
those movies where the down-and-out hero suddenly gets the upper hand, pays back all of the evil the
villain has been inflicting on others, and justice prevails. But is this really justice? Jesus
speaks clearly: "But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil." Our virtue must go
beyond that of the Scribes and the Pharisees.
2. Perfect Justice.
Christ invites us
to go beyond the "tit-for-tat" mentality: "When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the
other one to him as well." Jesus is not trying to teach us passivism; rather, he is inviting us to
discover that love is the perfection of justice. Humility and forgiveness are the pillars of this
radically new mentality. Only in the light of these can we hope to build true and enduring peace in
the world, amongst those around us and even within ourselves.
Fulfillment of this attitude is not merely to avoid direct retaliations but rather to
form a generous and magnanimous heart which knows how to give itself without ever giving up. Jesus
gave not only his tunic and cloak, but all of his clothes to those who were to crucify him (cf. John
19:23). Jesus walked the extra mile, which brought him to the top of Calvary (cf. John 19:17). Jesus
promised salvation to the criminal who asked him to remember him (cf. Luke
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, you are God. You came down from
heaven to teach me how to love, but I have such a hard time loving those around me and even loving
myself sometimes. By your almighty grace, help me to be more like you, to forgive and to give myself
to others so that I can help make their lives just a bit happier.
will perform one small act of charity today: thinking or speaking well of someone, or offering
myself to help someone.
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