A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:38-42
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."
REFLECTION: But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
Betty C's teenage daughter said some mean and hateful things to her--yelling at her at the store in front of many people, pointing the index finger in her face and telling her that she was trying to buy her love. Her mom did not say anything, did not try to defend herself nor did she attempt to resist the ugly words. She left the items on the counter, and peacefully walked away. The rage that the words elicited stayed between the mother and God. Her mother chose to forgive her daughter at that very moment without demanding her daughter's apology. She knew God would give her a lifetime to show her daughter love, meekness, and peace without need of raising her voice or of forcing her daughter to say, "I am sorry". The spoken words were never forgotten but they were forgiven. Their relationship was loving. Betty C always remembered that incident.
Many years later, Betty C's mother died. Betty cried unconsolably. The guilt was still there from that obstinate pride. The never spoken words of " I am sorry" were now too late for her mother to hear. But standing over the casket she asked her mother for forgiveness. Betty knew her mother had forgiven her years ago. God had extended his grace on Betty.
It is hard to say I am sorry; it is hard to say I was wrong; it is hard to admit we were jealous or prideful. But like a good confession, we need that grace -that miracle- for true reconciliation and conversion. May we always remember God's undeniable love for us and His wish of having a loving relationship with us. May we share this love and grace of God with others and may our priests show us how beautiful the grace of God on a sinner can be.
God bless you.