A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 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.”
The idea of revenge in “an eye for an eye” predated Christianity. It is a primitive sense of justice that would appear to be the logical response to wrongdoings and evil.
Yet, the way of Jesus Christ is different. He does not do away with justice in commanding us into non-violence. His way is the path of peace and fullness of justice. For justice is always truth in action. When someone offends or commits a violent act against another human being, it is unjust because the evil act does not speak a truth about the dignity of that person. It does not honor their value as a human person. The act is untrue.
So to respond to an untrue act with further acts of violence is to respond to a lie with a lie. Jesus Christ calls us to live in truth, because without truth, we cannot experience love. Every act of genuine love is true. May God immerse us in truth today, may He immerse us in mercy today. For mercy is love in action. May he immerse us in Him today.