Today’s gospel relates the first in a series of teachings by Jesus, referred to as “counsels for perfection.” These contrast the practice of moral behavior according to the law of Moses with the practice of love for neighbor emphasized by Jesus. The intent of the law given to Moses was to moderate retaliation — that the punishment should not exceed the injury done by another. On the other hand, Jesus taught humility and total surrender of ego when faced with opposition, hurt, or injustice: You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you offer no resistance to the one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well (Matthew 5:38-39).
Sometimes God puts before us unexpected answers to prayer addressed to him to help us heal and let go of the past hurts that haunt us and lead to offending him and others. Such is the gift of this passage. It extends the power of sacramental forgiveness. It calls us to a greater trust in the healing power of the Spirit, more immediate and intimate awareness of the power of forgiveness, a way to look with new eyes on our sins and imperfections, a way to let God heal our brokenness and teach us love — a way to turn the other cheek.
Every eucharistic celebration is an opportunity to admit sinfulness consciously. It is a time to transform sinful and imperfect words and actions into gifts to God and to offer our Father the body and precious blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin. …This is my body given up for you; this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for the forgiveness of sin.… and gratefully for me!
Let Us Pray:
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds. His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. In the sight of the nations, he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord all you lands, break into song; sing praise. (Psalm 98, Liturgy of the day)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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