In today’s gospel Jesus instructs us on how to deal with those who hurt us or take advantage of us.
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 to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
What are we to make of this counterintuitive teaching? Aren’t we supposed to defend ourselves against the hurtful actions of others?
The answer is a definitive no. We are called to be like Jesus. He was completely innocent, yet he took our sinfulness upon himself. To be like him, we must endure patiently injustices, injuries and unfair treatment.
Nobody ever told you it would be easy, did they?