Fr. Ferdinand's Homily 19 February 2023

Posted on 19th February, 2023

Homily Sunday 7-A



In today’s Gospel Jesus continues his long sermon on the mount. He is giving his disciples a new Law; he is teaching us a new way of living.


In today’s section of his sermon, Jesus speaks about ‘revenge’ and about ‘mutual love’.

On taking revenge, the law of Moses in the book of Exodus teaches: ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth’. This law was introduced to put limits to revenge and make it proportional to the offence.

However, in today’s gospel Jesus says: But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance.  For Jesus, vengeance should be excluded altogether. Vengeance leads to a ‘tit for tat’ mentality on a small scale and on a big scale. The vicious circle of retaliation needs to be broken, and that can only be done by opposing vengeance altogether. Martin Luther King once said: ‘An eye for an eye and the whole world would go blind’.


Jesus does not stop us from defending ourselves in situations of unjust aggression and even less of opposing evil in the world. But Jesus wants to exclude vengeance. How do we educate our children and ourselves? What do we teach? When they hit you, hit back!  Or, when they hit you, walk away!

After that, Jesus continues his teaching saying: I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Love your enemies. How is this possible humanly speaking for us, weak as we are?

On ourselves, it is not possible. We need to draw close to Jesus, for him to infect us ‘positively’. When we reflect on his words and his life, when we draw close to him in prayer and the Eucharist, he can infect us ‘positively’, in order to become whole and healthy, more like him.


Sometimes we hear people greeting each other, saying How are you? And they answer, I am good.

I know that grammatically it is not correct, to say I am good, but it also reminds us of the words of Jesus who tells us: ‘No one is good but God alone’. God alone is good, God causes his sun to rise on bad people as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest people alike.

Jesus calls us to resemble our heavenly Father more and more, to be truly his children, and for that to ask for his help.


So, the next time, when someone will ask us: How are you? We’d better answer: I am trying to be good.

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