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Monday 11th Week of the Year

Today’s Readings

Monday 11th Week of the Year

Matthew 5:38-42.

After horrific mass shootings of innocent victims,
we ask, “When will the hate and violence end?

Jesus addresses this in today’s Gospel.

When we hear the term “An eye for an eye,”
we often think of the word retaliation.

Somebody did something to me, so I’m going to do the same to them.

The purpose of this ancient command
found in Leviticus 24:20
was to do no more harm to anyone
than what they did to you.

Violence was kept in check
and could not escalate to something worse.

Many cultures and peoples
around the world still live by this law.

Jesus knew so well that this law changes no one’s heart.

Enemies remained enemies.

His teaching to “Offer no resistance to evil,”
is an invitation to compassion and peace.

It might seem weak,
but the crucifixion was the strength of love and mercy at its best.

How many times someone meditating on the crucifix
has changed their heart?

To “Offer no resistance to evil,”
keeps evil out of our hearts.

We don’t just sit back and take someone’s abuse.

We allow that strength in Jesus’ heart on the cross
to absorb the pain we experience in his sacred wounds.

This step is impossible to take
without the grace of the Lord.

But once we trust him and take that step,
we no longer see our pain
but the pain in our enemy’s heart.

They become a real person to us
who so much needs the merciful love of the Lord.

“Offer no resistance”
helps us keep our dignity
in the eyes of Jesus
and not to lose the dignity of our abuser.

Even if some form of legal action has to take place
to protect our lives or others,
we can still love such a person with a pure heart.

“Blessed are the pure heart,
for they will see God”
transforming our hearts into his Sacred Heart.

His Heart will never fail us.

When will the violence end?
The violence will finish with each one of us.

Jesus, I trust in You.


Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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