"conquer evil with good" (rm 12:21)
"Do not resist one who is evil." —Matthew 5:39, RSV-CE
We disciples of Jesus no longer want to get even with our enemies and persecutors. Instead, our battle is against the kingdom of evil (Eph 6:12) and our goal is to reclaim souls stolen from the Lord and restore them to His kingdom. Our aim is to conquer souls for Jesus, by using good means and not evil ones (Rm 12:21).
Because this is our overriding goal, "why not put up with injustice, and let [ourselves] be cheated?" (1 Cor 6:7) What does it matter if we have to walk an extra mile or do without some things? Did someone take our shirt? (Mt 5:40) Jesus told us not to bring an extra shirt when we serve Him (Mt 10:10), so He is responsible to provide another shirt so we can continue to serve Him (Mt 6:30; 10:9ff). "He Who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it" (1 Thes 5:24).
"Beloved, do not avenge yourselves; leave that to God's wrath, for it is written: 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay,' says the Lord" (Rm 12:19). Getting even with our enemies is contrary to God's mercy. Only because Jesus led the way in trusting the Father and living without vengeance can we hope to follow in His footsteps.
"Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good" (Rm 12:21). By following Jesus in loving evildoers, "we are more than conquerors" (Rm 8:37). We conquer the world when we express our belief in Jesus (1 Jn 5:5) by obeying His difficult teachings.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to deny myself, take up my cross, love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, and fix my eyes on Jesus so I can follow You in perfect love.
Promise: "You, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with You." —Ps 5:5
Praise: Linda found that praying a "Hail Mary" whenever she thought of a person with whom she had difficulty kept her heart open and loving toward that person.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009
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