“Offer no resistance to injury . . . turn the other cheek.” These phrases are among the most famous and most difficult of any which the Gospels record as coming from the lips of Jesus. If we listen to them long enough to really hear them, before being frightened off by them, we usually hear in them an admonition to passivity in the face of conflict.
The Christian celebration of the Eucharist is a celebration of the covenant or relationship between God and us. Catholic Social Teaching invites us to make this covenant real in our social relations. The communion which we share “in church” is a communion which we must be reflected in how we live in society.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Matthew 5:33-37
Today’s first reading proclaims that very idea in asking us how we see things and what difference does it make. If we are “in Christ,” we see things differently than we did before, because things are different. What was once a world of mere human construction has become a world redeemed and re-created by Christ’s death and resurrection. Indeed, “now all is new!” For me, then, the challenge is to see my world as renewed, to see God in all things. It is to see Him in those close to me, in friends and family. But it is also to recognize Him in relative strangers, including the student who is cutting my class, the politician who has it wrong, and the driver dawdling along in front of me. Nor is it enough to see the glory of Christ’s redemption in a magnificent sunset or the silken feel of a rose petal. God is also found in a dreary sky and the weed patch next door. It’s about seeing as believers.