+Today’s gospel provides us with some of the most challenging words ever spoken. Jesus saying to his disciples “offer no resistance to one who is evil..if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” How different this is from the story we just heard from the Book of Kings, about what was done to Naboth due to Ahab and Jezebel being deceived by wealth and power.
As Fr Louis or Thomas Merton has pointed out in his Journals, as consecrated monks “restricting non-retaliation merely to physical non-retaliation is not enough—on the contrary, it is in some sense a greater evil.” If we are going to be truly non-violent as Jesus was, it means being so with our hearts, being truly loving persons in all circumstances.
One cannot help seeing the wisdom of what Jesus is teaching us in the face of all the gun violence in this country, the war in Ukraine, the abuse in family life and the necessary care of our planet if we are to survive.
(1 Kgs 21:1-16; Mt 3:38-42)