TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK
Monday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
Feelings of revenge, of getting even are not easy to control. None of us likes to be made to look like a fool, to be taken advantage of, to have our pride hurt. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is considered the manly and womanly thing to do. The world tells us, “Don’t let anyone get the upper hand. If you can’t handle it yourself, take them to court.” Jesus says “NO! Offer no resistance to injury - turn the other cheek.”
It is helpful sometimes to focus our awareness on what our actions do to our characters as people. Ask yourself, “Is that which I am doing making me a better person or a worse one?” “Am I becoming more loving and human, or hateful and hardhearted?” “Will getting even really make me a winner or a loser?” If we become like the person who is afflicting us, it is easy to see that our getting even makes us losers.
But you certainly want more than to be just a good person. You want to be a good Christian. You want to become like Christ. And that excludes anything that revenge would do to your character, to yourself as a Christian person.
By turning the other cheek, you are hopefully helping the other person to become good. But even if that effect never comes about, you will be helping yourself. And so, always remember: Everything you do affects you in the depths of your character - as a person and as a Christian. Christ knows this, and he wants you to know it too.