Mt 5:38-42 Our Trademark
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, offer no resistance to one who is evil…”
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. When you read this verse from the Bible, do you take it literally? Do you think our ancestors took it literally? I think they did. So, if they took this verse from the Bible literally, then do you think our ancestors took as literal the Lord’s words when he said, “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well?”
I am sure they did. And that’s the reason why they were so successful in bringing down their enemies.
Our Trademark. Christ brought down His enemies the moment they nailed Him to the Cross. At the moment He died, His enemies forever lost their battle against Him. It was simply just a matter of time when they would either convert or disappear. Many converted.
When His enemies struck him on the cheek, he offered the other. When they spit on him, he did not spit on them. His weakness turned out to be his strength. His cross, trials and difficulties turned out to be His passport into our hearts; the validation of His ID card.
The Apostles took it all in. They prayed to the Lord. They reflected on His life. Their conclusion was unanimous: We are to preach the truth at all times. We are to love, forgive, show compassion and mercy at all times. We are to love our brothers and our enemies. We are to share our possessions, our blood, our time and our lives with others. St. Paul understood this well, and for this reason he could boast of the Cross of Christ: “Brothers and sisters: As your fellow workers, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain…Behold now is a very acceptable time…In everything we c commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors…” (2Cor 6:1-10).
What a difference St. Paul is from the sunshine Catholic and the summertime follower of today! What a difference! Be honest! If you were undergoing what St. Paul experienced, wouldn’t you be doubting your faith, doubting God’s existence, doubting your mission and embracing your enemy? Be honest. I think I would be.
But all these things come with true discipleship. After all, if I am a disciple of the Lord, then I must do what the Lord did: I must place myself in the enemy’s hands and free them!
Enduring the Cross is our registered trademark. It is our intellectual property. We do not come down from the Cross. We do not run away from others, especially from our enemies. We fight the good fight. We fight till the end! We win in the end.
“The Lord has made known His plan of salvation” (cf. Ps 98:2a). Let us rejoice and be glad in it.