An Eye For An Eye

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.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles. 
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
"You have heard that it was said,
 You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matthew 5:38-48 (NAB)
Today's gospel is probably the hardest to implement into our own lives.  At least it is in mine.  Turning the other cheek, giving up something that I actually need to someone else and loving my enemies are pretty much foreign to me.  However, I do work in customer service and if anything, it teaches me to keep my mouth shut!
But as I read today's gospel it does make sense that as Christians, we have to be different.  We have to step up and show the world how to live Christ's Word.  Jesus put up with a lot and not just from strangers.  His own disciples were a constant challenge to him.  As Mother Angelica observed, "The apostles wouldn't pass the seminary today.  Heck, I doubt if they'd make it past the psychological screening."
Christ calls us to be perfect.  Lord knows I'm trying!

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