11th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 19th June 2023

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St Romuald, abbot... Pray for us

11th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 19th June 2023

2 Cor. 6:1-10; Ps. 97:1-4;
Mt. 5:38-42 (Ps. Wk. III)

Working with Jesus Christ is the greatest honour we could receive – yet many turn away or give up when things get rough or difficult. Paul insists that the acceptable time promised in Scripture is now – not next week, month, or year. Each day we are given an opportunity (maybe several!) to make that choice. But we should not expect it will be easy, as Paul demonstrates by listing all his trials and difficulties. We may be misunderstood, mistreated, and afflicted – but there will grow within us a sense of joy and fulfilment as we draw closer to the mind and heart of Christ.

These are some of the most challenging words in the Gospel – do not resist evildoers; turn the other cheek; go the extra mile; lend without hesitation – they don’t seem to be realistic in the everyday world. But that is the point: they are shocking, and they are effective, as Gandhi demonstrated. We are not commanded to be passive victims or to give in to mistreatment and evil. And we are certainly not advised to be cowed and submissive. It is a call to take command of the situation – do the expected and throw your oppressor off balance. Be defiant, exercise your free will, Jesus tells us, and stand your ground – even if it costs you. But do not sin – do not commit violence or seek revenge – do not play your oppressor’s game. Living in love and truth is freedom.

Lord, help me follow Your example.

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