Friend or Foe?
What strange advice! “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” “If anyone forces you to go one mile go also the second mile….” “If anyone sues you for your outer garment, give them your undergarment too.” Jesus tells us not to resist evil. Does he mean us to roll over and allow our enemies to walk all over us?
It’s very easy for us to love our friends. Only loving those who are easy to love doesn’t provide very much of a challenge, and consequently doesn’t earn us much of a reward. The challenge Jesus poses today is to meet our enemies with love. Jesus’ advice is to meet violence with non-violence and to meet force with acquiescence. If we only love those who love us back we are not doing anything more than anyone else, but if we love our enemies, we show ourselves to be true disciples of Christ.
In our conflict-ridden world, today’s gospel has never been more relevant. Never has there been a better time for Christians to get more involved in campaigning for non-violent strategies. The world has never been more ready.