“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Seemingly in our so called modern world and advanced sophisticated society, violence continues to be the method of choice predominately used to settle differences. It doesn’t take a lot of provocation or misunderstanding to get folks enraged or riled up.
Jesus offers an alternative to violence. He simply says, “offer no resistance to one who is evil.” Evil comes from hearts that are filled with hatred, jealousy, anger or are suffering. By allowing evil to take control of our hearts we will be filled with the same malady as the evildoer. We too will seek revenge, desire retaliation, and be engulfed with anger.
His message was clear all the way to Calvary, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” His message never wavered.
Lord, help me today to never waver on my pursuit to be an advocate for peace.
—Deacon Marlon Leneaugh is Director of Native Ministries for the Diocese of Rapid City, SD.
God of Nonviolence,
Thank you for the gift of your love and your peace.
Give me the grace to live the life of Gospel nonviolence
that I might be a faithful follower of the nonviolent Jesus.
Send the Holy Spirit of nonviolence upon me that I will love everyone,
from my neighbor to my enemies,
that I may see you in everyone, and know everyone as my sister and brother,
and never hurt or fear anyone again.
I ask this in the name of the nonviolent Jesus, our brother and our peace.