Monday 11th Week in Ordinary Time 2022

Father Rick’s Two Minute Homily for Monday 11th Week in Ordinary Time 06-13-2022
Monday 11th Week in Ordinary Time 2022
Matthew 5:38-42


Honor is something we never want to lose. But, when we do, we lose touch with the core of who we are as children of God. We react rather than respond to others, especially if we feel threatened. Our defenses kick in, and we say things and even do things we regret. It can happen in a blink of an eye and sometimes shock us. I have said to myself, “How did that happen.” Then I am sorry and have to apologize. The Sacrament of Reconciliation always helps me get my head and heart back with Jesus, who restores my honor as God’s son.

Jesus uses several examples that people in His time faced quite frequently. I will speak only on one, turning the other cheek. Jesus instructs us how to respond if someone strikes us on the cheek. “Turn and offer the other. Slapping on the cheek was something a person in authority would do to someone subservient to them: a parent to a child; a soldier would do to a citizen.

They used the left hand only for the toilet, which was never offered to another person or put on the table at a meal. That left the right hand to slap someone. Slapping with the palm of your right hand on the left cheek was a put-down and an insult. To strike with the back of your right hand on the left cheek treated the victim as an equal. “Turn and offer the other.” ‘Go ahead, treat me as your equal,’ turned the tables on the aggressor. (See John J. Pilch, The Cultural World of Jesus, Volume A, pp. 37-39).

By not retaliating, Jesus never lost his dignity as God’s Son on the cross. He lost His life, not His honor, as God’s only Begotten Son. The Father raised Him from the dead. He will save us when we respond to an aggressor and not retaliate. Let’s think before we speak so we don’t lose our honor as children of God.

Fr. Rick Pilger, IC

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