Faith Daily |13 June 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 526
Father, we praise you,
that through your Word and Holy Spirit
you created all things;
you reveal your salvation in all the world
through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh;
through your Holy Spirit you give us a share
in your life and love:
fill us with the vision of your glory,
that we may always serve and praise you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 5: 38-42
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Peter Brady
While it sounds harsh, if not outright bloodthirsty, the law of retribution in the Old Testament was intended to prevent revenge seeking escalating into vendetta by ensuring the penalty an injured party could demand could not exceed the damage caused. However, by the time of Jesus' ministry the law was being applied (or perhaps misapplied) so the powerful could extract revenge on others.
In this teaching (part of the Sermon on the Mount) Jesus does not actually reject the concept, indeed he has already announced he has come to fulfill the law rather than abolish it. But he does encourage his listeners to think outside the square. Not to answer violence with violence or unreasonable demands with resistance as might be expected but to be different and generous and thus prompt others to see themselves anew.
Jesus calls us to look beyond the limit of the law. To be generous and imaginative. To be free of the limits we may set for ourselves by imagining others wrongly.
And a closing prayer:
Father, help us to ignore insults, to not seek revenge but to forgive.
Remind us always to pray for sinners, our enemies and to love others without limits. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.