1KINGS 21:1-16/ PS. 5:2-3: 4-6-7/ MATTHEW 5:38-42 🗣🔥🔥🔥
LOVE NOT VENGEANCE
In the Gospel reading Jesus said to his disciples “you have heard how it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil” (Matt. 5:38-39). Jesus cited this old law called lex talionis the law of tit for tat which far from being a bloodthirsty law, is in fact the beginning of mercy. (Exd.21:23-25). Today this law is highly misinterpreted. There are three things we must bear in mind about this law. 1. The goal of the law was justice through the limitation of vengeance 2. It was not meant for private individual to extract vengeance; rather it was for judges to access punishment and penalty. 3. It was never carried out literally; otherwise it will reverse justice. Therefore, let us be mindful of the way we interpret the Bible.
Jesus the perfecter of the law moves from the old law of limited vengeance to a spirit of non-retaliation. Throughout his suffering and ministry he did not defend himself with force and violence. As the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev.5:5) he could have retaliated but he did not because he is the Lamb of God (John1:29). As the Mighty one in battle (Ps.24:8) he could have fought for himself; but he did not because he is the Prince of peace (Is.9:6). As the Chief Judge (John5:22) he could have ordered deadly penalty; but he forgave his murders (Luke 23:34). In John 18:10 when Jesus was arrested Peter slashed off the ear of Malchus; but Jesus said to him Peter sheath your sword. Beloved in Christ, no doubt we have right to self defense but Jesus says sheath your sword. In the name of self defense many are already street fighters. Our real self defense should be self control, self discipline and self education.
Lastly, the first reading sees Naboth a just man being stoned to death so that the king can have for himself Naboth vegetable garden. Jezebel the wife of the King arranged for a false accusation to be made against Naboth. Naboth could be seen as a forerunner to Christ for both were wrongly accused and wrongly put to death. We are reminded of what lies can do and how they can destroy lives. Lord have mercy.
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.