Can someone explain to me how Jesus is meaning his words in today’s gospel reading? I think he is trying to say don’t be angry quick. but if one is struck he has the right under the law to self defense (Man’s law). Why is he saying this? Is it literal? He expects you to go around letting people hit you?
Christ is using something called “rabbinic hyperbole” Basically, He is saying that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
This article may help. catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/turn-the-other-cheek
Meditation: What makes the disciples of Jesus different from others and what makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace - treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated - with loving-kindness, forbearance, and mercy. God is good to the unjust as well as the just. His love embraces saint and sinner alike. God seeks our highest good and teaches us to seek the greatest good of others, even those who hate and abuse us.
Overcome evil with good
Our love for others, even those who are ungrateful and selfish towards us, must be marked by the same kindness and mercy which God has shown to us. It is easier to show kindness and mercy when we can expect to benefit from doing so. How much harder when we can expect nothing in return. Our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil.
Christ’s redeeming love and mercy frees us from all hatred and malice towards others
How can we possibly love those who cause us harm or ill-will? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who believe and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices and griefs. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good. Such love and grace has power to heal and to save from destruction. Do you know the power of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy?
Allow the Holy Spirit to change and transform the way you think, judge, and treat others
Was Jesus exaggerating when he said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? The original meaning of “perfect” in Aramaic is “completeness” or “wholeness - not lacking in what is essential.” God gives us every good gift in Jesus Christ so that we may not lack anything we need to do his will and to live as his sons and daughters (2 Peter 1:3). He knows our weakness and sinfulness better than we do. And he assures us of his love, mercy, and grace to follow in his ways. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Ask the Holy Spirit to change and transform you in the image of the Father that you may walk in the joy and freedom of the Gospel.
“Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone.”
…consider this passage in the light of:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]17 Never repay evil with evil but let everyone see that you are interested only in the highest ideals. 18 Do all you can to live at peace with everyone. 19 Never try to get revenge; leave that, my friends, to God’s anger. As scripture says: vengeance is mine – I will pay them back,*a] the Lord promises. 20 But there is more: If your enemy is hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink. Thus you heap red-hot coals on his head. 21 Resist evil and conquer it with good.
…the Apostles are Unfolding what Christ Taught:
11 I urge you, my dear people, while you are visitors and pilgrims to keep yourselves free from the selfish passions that attack the soul. 12 Always behave honourably among pagans so that they can see your good works for themselves and, when the day of reckoning comes, give thanks to God for the things which now make them denounce you as criminals. 13 For the sake of the Lord, accept the authority of every social institution: the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 and the governors as commissioned by him to punish criminals and praise good citizenship. 15 God wants you to be good citizens, so as to silence what fools are saying in their ignorance. 16 You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness.
(1 St. Peter 2:11-16)