Turning the other cheek


#1

I’m sure this has been asked before, and I’m not sure this is the right place to ask it, but I like my own questions answered and I can’t find another place, so here goes.

The “turn the other cheek” instruction has always been a difficult one for me to understand, not so much from a “local” perspective but globally. And since last week’s homily was dedicated to the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, and everything else I can find talks only about how it applies to you as a person, I would like thoughts. Every week my church offers a prayer for our armed forces in Afghanistan. This is troubling to me, not because I don’t want them to be safe, but because they are in Afghanistan because we retaliated with great force to 9/11. Why was this okay? And if it was not okay, what would turning the other cheek have looked like in that situation, and how is a leader of a secular nation supposed to do that and get away with it? Similarly, Kenyan priests were asking for AK-47s in the face of Muslim attacks on churches. That’s not turning the other cheek either. So what’s the deal with this?

I’ll take my answers off the air. Thank you!


#2

To “turn the other cheek,” does not imply pacifism, nor does it mean we place ourselves or others in mortal danger. Like the principle of the eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth in Matthew 5:38, turning the other cheek refers to personal retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military aggression. Clearly, Jesus did not mean to negate all God’s laws and injunctions protecting us against violent crime or invading armies. Rather, Jesus is speaking here of the principle of non-retaliation to affronts against our own dignity, as well as lawsuits to gain one’s personal assets (v. 40), infringements on one’s liberty (v. 41), and violations of property rights (v. 42). He was calling for a full surrender of all personal rights.

Turning the other cheek means not to return insult for insult in retaliation, which is what most people expect and how worldly people act. Responding to hatred with love just might grab someone’s attention and afford us a chance to share the gospel. When we respond in a manner that is unnatural, it displays the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus was the perfect example because He was silent before His accusers and did not call down revenge from heaven on those who crucified Him.

Hope this helps.


#3

In my parish’s prayers for the faithful, we also pray weekly for the military. But the prayer goes:

“For the military. May they be kept save, and in places troubled by war, may they become instruments of peace. We lift our prayer to the Lord; Lord hear our prayers”


#4

Well, sort of…Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth was not so much about insult for insult as it was legitimate punishment for crimes against others, and limiting punishment so that it was appropriate for the crime.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth meant that justice was served by only applying punishment as restitution of sorts. In other words, if a man criminally cost you an eye, it would not be appropriate for him to be put to death; or if a man criminally cost you a tooth, that he should have his hand cut off.


#5

Society and individuals have the right to self defense. Christ’s Apostles carried swords for that reason. The Church has always upheld this.

The Muslims would have conquered Europe without armed self defense. Hitler would have ruled the world. The US would not exist.


#6

Then is which situations does the command apply?


#7

=millstreet;11755866]I’m sure this has been asked before, and I’m not sure this is the right place to ask it, but I like my own questions answered and I can’t find another place, so here goes.

The “turn the other cheek” instruction has always been a difficult one for me to understand, not so much from a “local” perspective but globally. And since last week’s homily was dedicated to the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, and everything else I can find talks only about how it applies to you as a person, I would like thoughts. Every week my church offers a prayer for our armed forces in Afghanistan. This is troubling to me, not because I don’t want them to be safe, but because they are in Afghanistan because we retaliated with great force to 9/11. Why was this okay? And if it was not okay, what would turning the other cheek have looked like in that situation, and how is a leader of a secular nation supposed to do that and get away with it? Similarly, Kenyan priests were asking for AK-47s in the face of Muslim attacks on churches. That’s not turning the other cheek either. So what’s the deal with this?

I’ll take my answers off the air. Thank you!

This dear friend is One of many Moral Lessons.

Simply put it means that when are attacked, or wronged to NOT seek revenge.

Perhaps this passage will make it clear to you?

Mt. 18:21-22 " Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times"

“Seven” in Jewish traditions means “perfect; full; complete.” Their tradition was “an eye for and eye”; so Peter tough he was being clever in suggesting “seven time.” BUT Jesus said NO! not JUST seven; BUT 70 x70 meaning indefinitely or always and everytime:thumbsup:.

God Bless,
Patrick


#8

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