Memory of the Poor

Ossza Meg


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 5,38-42

'You have heard how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if someone wishes to go to law with you to get your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The ancient law that prescribed "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,"39 wanted to regulate an unending cycle of implacable vengeance. It was certainly a wise disposition to avoid any abuse and unbalance. And yet, it failed the power of uprooting hatred. The path proposed by Jesus is super-abundant love. Evil cannot be overcome by evil, even if regulated, but only by a greater good. With these statements, Jesus turned around the well rooted mentality of his time. But we too live in a culture saturated with a vengeful and vindictive spirit. It is sufficient to think of the prejudices that affect public behaviour and the sensitivity of a large part of the population towards prisoners. Despite the fact that legal science foresees prison as redemption from guilt and not as revenge on the part of society, common sensibility is quite different. The Gospel asks the disciple not only to ban vengeance from his behaviour, but even to overturn the vengeful instinct with "turning the other cheek". This teaching has often been misunderstood and even mocked. Unfortunately, a vengeful mentality that poisons relationships between people is growing unbridled in our societies. Jesus wants feelings of fraternity to grow among us. He is way far from proposing a logic of violence and death. He came to establish a new way of living that is centred on love for others. It is the way to defeat evil with good. On the way of love, disciples offer even their coat to the one who asks them; they are ready to accompany someone even twice as many miles as they are asked, and they do not turn their back to the one who asks for help. With this love, we chase away evil from the start and we open the way to a good and dignified life for all.