“Turn the other cheek” it means to be humanly and spiritually superior people, certainly does not mean to be cowards

– Homilies on the Gospel –

Turn the other cheek IT MEANS TO BE PEOPLE humanly and spiritually HIGHER, DOES SOME SAY BEING COWARDS

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How to read the phrase of turning the other cheek, place the Holy Gospel offers us no roads impossible to follow, but the possible roads, purpose of which is to lead us to eternal salvation? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, stating that there is a just war and that "Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good", Is it contrary to the precepts of the Holy Gospel?

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Author Father Ariel
Author
Ariel S. Levi Gualdo

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"You have heard that it was said: "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I tell you not to resist evil; on the contrary, if one gives you a slap on the right cheek, turn to him the other […]»

Mt 5, 38-48

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snoopy turn the cheek alotra
the wisdom of Snoopy

This page of the Holy Gospel Beato Evangelista Matteo must be understood in its depth, because penetrating deeply the Word of the Lord that we understand that the Word of God made man intended to send. And what Christ is not transmits a message addressed twenty centuries ago to a group of disciples, or to the nations of the earth and of that historical period; He sends us a living message. This is the reason why we refer to the Holy Gospel noted as "living word". And more than merely formal, the difference that exists between the Holy Gospel and the word of Homer and Virgil, between the rhymes of ancient Palermo court of Frederick II of Swabia, the word and the rhymes of Dante Alighieri toschi, Giovanni Boccaccio and Francesco Petrarca, It is a whole substantial difference. Those of many ancient authors are dead words that we make lives through their study and their spread. But are we to make live these words finite that tell stories, events, society and men who belong to a dead and buried past lives through these works. The Gospel tells us of finished, but of 'Infinity, It is not a word that lives in history closed, but open a word that opens the story to be our present and our future become. This is because the Holy Gospel word is not enlivened by us, but a word that makes us alive. That's why at the end of the proclamation of the Holy Gospel during the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, The priest or deacon concludes by saying: "Word of the Lord".

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As you may recall, in the Gospel of weeks ago, Christ the Lord reminded us: "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?» [cf. Mt 5, 13-16]. And salt is Christ who gives savor and meaning to our lives. And if we lose the flavor of Christ, no one can make this salt salty. The Word of God that gives life to us makes us salt that gives flavor and makes us salt of the earth.

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Christ the Lord, towards the end of the Gospel of the Blessed Evangelista Marco, to clarify the essence of his living word, states: «Heaven and earth will pass, but my words shall not pass away " [cf. MC 24,35]. This is to remind us that He is the living Word that gives us life, It is the spice that gives it flavor and that through us gives flavor to our being and existence, accompanying us until the day that the Lord Christ: "He will return in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end". And if we do not understand and we do not go into this thinking, here is that when after the proclamation of the Holy Gospel we recite the I believe, we run the risk of reciting a nursery rhyme learned by heart, instead our Profession of Faith; a nursery rhyme that we risk not even understand the meaning.

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In this passage from the Holy Gospel, of expressions that are contained on the one hand they surprise, on the other we tend to interpret as something not feasible. Let's start from the phrase that is difficult to understand: «But I tell you not to resist evil; on the contrary, if one gives you a slap on the right cheek, you turn to him the other ".

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If we enter the false order of ideas that the Holy Gospel offers us ways and lifestyles impractical, then we run the serious risk of reducing it to a set of short stories full of historical truth and the highest ethical values, but on par Odyssey and Iliad, thus making it a "dead word over" and not a "living infinite word".

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With this sentence, Christ the Lord tells us that perhaps before an army that invades us risking our lives, we have to run towards the attackers singing peace and love ? And how do you reconcile, the invitation to turning the other cheek, the fact that the Catechism of the Catholic Church has always admitted the use of defensive war, if there is no other means of defense against unjust aggression? I remind you that in fact the text of the Catechism, where they list the conditions of a "legitimate defense by military force", It is clearly stated: "These are the traditional elements enumerated in the doctrine called the 'just war'. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good " [cf. n. 2309]. Continues the text of the Catechism: "Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good" [cf. n. 2321]. And here please note that the self-defense through war is called 'a grave duty "on the part of those who" is responsible for the lives of others or the common good ".

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How to read the phrase of turning the other cheek, place the Holy Gospel offers us no roads impossible to follow, but the possible roads, purpose of which is to lead us to eternal salvation? The doctrine, the magisterium and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, They are perhaps in stark contrast to the precepts of the Holy Gospel, even l'I invite turning the other cheek ?

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Let's see what is the sequence of the words of the Lord Jesus that before inviting to turning the other cheek states: "You have heard that it was said: An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth '. And by "you have heard", Christ the Lord refers to what was known as the Law of retaliation contained in the Book of Exodus [21, 24]. A law that was created when it was useful because it aimed to curb revenge and to avoid vendettas between different tribes went on for generations, with a murderous hatred handed down from father to son. And before the Law of retaliation, which it aimed to this positive action of containment, the Lord Jesus says: "But I tell you not to resist evil; on the contrary, if one gives you a slap on the right cheek, you turn to him the other ".

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If in primitive times the Law of retaliation He is trying to curb the evil, Jesus requires us instead a spirit tended to overcome bitterness and conflict. It does not ask us to succumb to evil powerless, but let it drop, implying, to him who does evil, As his gesture is useless and can not produce anything.

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Some opponents blinded by the wickedness, through their violent gestures challenge and require to receive reactions, so that the evil produces evil and violence more violence. The believer does not respond bowing his head before the arrogant and fearful showing weakness; acts in a superior manner and skilful, giving the evil an entirely different way of looking at things.

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And here I also invite you to reflect that Christ the Lord does not speak of severe beatings to the sound of punches unleashed in full force, or a stick or assaults with weapons in use at the time. He speaks of a slap on the right cheek. And the slap, more than a gesture of violence, was considered - then as today - a gesture of offense, an affront. Until all ancient times, hit on the face with a glove, or throw a glove to the face, was an act of infringement of other people dignity and integrity. In the era of Christ the Lord gloves were not in use, but the gesture of the slap on the cheek was equivalent to the glove challenge, which you can be answered in two ways: with a duel from which will emerge a dead, or by a smile and turning his back to the provocateur with the air of someone suggests: "But you, really you think I'm really willing to risk your life and my life, to generate a bereavement in a family and a feeling of hatred between two families, that dell'ucciso towards that of the man who, for a gesture which does not confer all the capacity that would aim to deprive me of my honor?». The turn the left cheek to this ancient challenge of the glove, It is a lesson and a clever provocative answer to make it clear that I aggressor, as a person prudent and wise, I am aware that evil never leads to any result, while the lack of control of the pride hurt, might it lead to reactions and actions of all proportion.

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It happens quite often that people in distant and hostile to the Christian world up attacking us in the worst way, through verbal violence, falsehoods spread in the press, slanders designed to spread art and then with diabolical malice ... and if any of us dare to react - for example, even with a simple and legitimate lawsuit for defamation -, promptly reply with quote one of the few evangelical phrases that know little about and that consequently cite worse: "Ah, but you have to turn the other cheek, as the Gospel says!».

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Celebrities, There are many other passages of the Gospel that those who attack us in many ways it suits do not know or ignore, for example the fact that Christ the Lord himself resorts to physical violence by taking a whip merchants in the courtyard of the Temple of Jerusalem [cf. MC 11,15-19; Mt 21,12-17; LC 19,45-48]. And what about the aggressive and insulting language Christ the Lord to the scribes, Pharisees and teachers of the Law? Or should perhaps explain that offensive capacity has defined the high notables as "brood of vipers"? [cf. Mt 23, 33]. Say it to someone "You're a viper", is a direct insult to him personally, but to say to a person that it belongs to a generation of vipers, It means not only hits him, but its full stem of belonging, family or religious that. As you can see, there are also these passages in the Holy Gospel, as others in which the Lord Jesus reminds us: «Do not think that I have come to bring peace on Earth; have not come to bring peace, but a sword " [cf. Mt 10, 32], indicating clearly that the sequela Christi, the way back to the Lord to safety, it is also a struggle both with ourselves and with others. That fight to where the Blessed Apostle Paul invites us in precise words: "The whole armor of God, to be able to withstand the wiles of the devil " [cf. If the 6, 10-20].

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Faced with a slap, before the glove challenge, it acts as Christ the Lord teaches us, using more wisdom than the foolishness dell'attaccabrighe seeking violence at all costs. But before the mystery of evil that seeks to destroy us, there must not only fight, but move their war. And if the dangerous offender says "... but on the Gospel it is written that I can attack and destroy you and that you must turning the other cheek, while I exercise my “sacrosanct” law aimed to make the evil prevail ", in such a case to be answered: "I'm sorry, but you do not know him the Gospel, or you may have misread and, after misread, I've got worse ".

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The turning the other cheek It means showing superiority human and moral, wisdom and sense of measure; It means to give a well-deserved lesson to those who, in exchange for a provocation, receiving as a response would require a disproportionate reaction. The turning the other cheek does not mean, however, give in to evil in any way intending to overwhelm, because Christ, on the cross, He did not die because he refused to fight against evil, but because “guilty” to have fought evil and launched the call to fight evil, until it became, for this, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world [CF Jn. 1,29].

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From the island of Patmos, 19 February 2017

VII Sunday in Ordinary Time

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6 thoughts on "“Turn the other cheek” it means to be humanly and spiritually superior people, certainly does not mean to be cowards

  1. Dear Don Ariel,

    In this case there are no, it seems to me, difficulty, the Gospel says:

    You have heard it said: "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I tell you not to resist evil; on the contrary, if one gives you a slap on the right cheek, turn to him the other

    For a person of average intelligence and has a certain intellectual honesty (but also for a child in his candor and his lack of hypocrisy), this is very easily understandable: It means if we beat, they attack, rob us or oppress us we must not physically react and we must be ready to suffer for the love of Jesus Christ.

    All other interpretations, wanting to distort the significance both crystal clear words of the Gospel, They can not be true Tradition, because as you and many doctors of the Church taught me well, speaketh a heresy (and want to distort the words of the Gospel is the greatest of heresies) ipso facto loses all power and jurisdiction and its propositions are empty, null and obliging.

    A prayer for my salvation

    Cyrano

    1. Caro Cyrano,

      I get it …
      The next time a boy 14 years comes to my confessional told me that he was harassed by a man of fifty, rather than in person accompanying him at the police station, as I did in Rome in 2010, The mention of turn his Gospel as it is accustomed to her, saying in reply to … not oppose the evil.
      Because surely it was just that, Christ God meant and transmit, in the?

      She is literally cursing God's Word.

      1. Maybe I'll take hard drugs badly cut, or I'll be a drunkard as the general of the Jesuits … [Ed: WHO]

        Christ intended this:

        “resist not evil; on the contrary, if one gives you a slap on the right cheek, turn to him the other”

        It does not seem difficult to understand:

        Different is not allowing the evil to harm all’ innocent

        Other than it is to admit armies, war, etcetera weapons…

        There is also Lei?

        1. Caro Cyrano,

          the greatest difficulty with which we pastors in care of souls we clash, is the spirit immovable of those people who confuse faith with their hearing, with their emotions, with their sentimentality, prefixing or concluding with the inevitable: ” … but I think …”.

          You are confronted with a priest or theologian with all patience and with more precise doctrine tells you that you are in clear error? Nothing to do: some people persist in error because “but I feel that … I think that …”.

          The deposit of faith and Catholic doctrine, They do not rely on either the emotional or the sentimentality, They are based on the data of Revelation: God creates the cosmic universe and man made in his image and likeness … the Word of God incarnate, lives, dies, resurrected and ascends to heaven.

          Pay attention now to its gross contradiction in terms, for example when he says: "Different is not allowing the evil to harm the innocent, other is to admit armies, war, etcetera weapons ».

          First she should explain how to prevent presumed or think "the evil to harm the innocent", without resorting to the force in case of need.

          That said it is clear that the armies, the war, the weapons etc .. I do not admit them, to admit them is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, when the war – which must always be avoided – unfortunately it can not be avoided, in this case it is legitimate and even obligatory recourse to force, the use of defensive war, also known as “just war”.

          And since those set out here are not my personal and subjective sentimental emotionality, is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which numbers 2307-2317 is the problem of war and the use of legitimate and even obligatory use of force [see WHO].

  2. We played the flute and you have not danced, we wailed, and you did not mourn. John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they said: He has a demon. Now is the Son of Man, eating and drinking, and they say: Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners!. But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds“.

    Unfortunately,, Cyrano, she falls into that category described above from the Gospel [Ed. Mt 11, 17-18]

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