"You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil." Mt 5:38
Today's scripture is what scholars call a "hard saying of Jesus." It would be unnatural not to resist it. There must be some way to understand, we reason, that will help us make sense of it, or ignore it, or dismiss entirely it as rabbinical hyperbole.
None of this will work, of course. We must face the implications of discipleship with and of Jesus. The gospels are demanding for very good reasons. The only way Jesus' first followers would be able to demonstrate their total dependence on God would be to respond to evil with kindness, to go beyond even what the law demanded. In Jesus' view, our refusal to be vengeful is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Because we believe in the saving redemption of Jesus, we are strong enough to work for reconciliation despite the cost.
Today, pray to let go of unfettered competition and winning at all costs.
Do you think the gospel demands non-violence?