PLAIN CATHOLIC PRIMER©2009
*When We Are Mistreated*
We are, first and foremost, disciples of Christ and belong to His culture. Our ethnicity always comes second to that. The best gift that we, as Christians can give to this tired old world is to stop forcing our family, our friends and our neighbors, to walk on eggshells constantly because of our feelings. We must give up our touchiness, our thin skins, our defensiveness, our self-righteous martyrdom. We must offer up our feelings to God and offer the other cheek to our neighbor as Scripture tells us. Jesus says to us directly in Luke 6:27-49
27 "But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
29 To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and
from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.
30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.
34 If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
35 But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
36 Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.
37 Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
39 And he told them a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?
40 No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.
41 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.
43 "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
45 A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command?
47 I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them.
48 That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built.
49 But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed."
As a disciple of Christ, we must always be the first to show love, forgiveness, charity, and respect to the other person with no expectation of anything in return. "Forgive them; they know not what they do" is what Christ said while dying on the cross... and it is His strength we must engage for ourselves. In a barking mad world of retort and retaliation this will be difficult … but it is not impossible because “I can do all these things in Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 Then truly shall we be able to hope for the title "disciple and beloved of Christ" in order to be the leaven that raises a community of charity instead of a culture of alienation and hurt.
That's me away.