Respond Out of Love

Homily for Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

This Gospel should really challenge us because it calls us to go against what our human instincts tell us. Typically when someone hurts us in some way or hurts someone we love, we tend to want to get revenge. We want to hurt them in the same way or in a similar way that we have been hurt. But Jesus challenges us to be different.

This morning, we are being invited to reflect on how we respond when we are hurt. Call to mind someone who has hurt us recently or call to mind the person who hurt us the most in our lives. How did we respond to that situation? If it’s something that we’re experiencing now, how are we currently responding? Are we following the command of Jesus and turning the other cheek, or are we seeking to get revenge?

Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean that we are passive in our response to a hurt; it doesn’t mean that we should continually put ourselves in a position to constantly get hurt either. But the Lord calls us to entrust that situation and that person to Him. Jesus calls us to love. We see the sin, but instead of retaliating, we forgive those who have failed. Sin is the enemy, not our brother or sister. And when we seek to overcome the causes of that sin, we are giving not just what we must, but we’re giving from love.

So this morning, let’s ask the Lord for that grace, the grace to not respond to hurts out of retaliation or a desire for revenge, but out of the desire to love. It’s difficult to do. But the Lord shows us that it is possible. May we strive to follow His example today.

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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