Turn the other cheek, give your cloak, love your enemies. Eric Immel, SJ, reflects on how Jesus teaches us to go against our natural instincts in this week’s One-Minute Homily. Based on the readings from Sunday, February 23.
Today is opposite day! Today, I’m left-handed, I’m upside down, and I have a full head of hair! Yeah right…I’m Eric Immel, and this is my One-Minute Reflection.
In today’s gospel, Jesus offers challenging commands that tug at our natural instincts. In essence, he asks us to do the opposite of what we’d expect to do. If someone hits you, don’t hit them back – turn the other cheek. If someone asks for your tunic, give them your cloak. Want me to run a mile? I’ll run two! You hate, me, you say? Well, I love you anyway.
The Christian life is about being bold, and it takes guts to do things differently. Imagine if we really tried forgive someone for the ways they’re hurt us, or tried to make life easier for others first, instead of looking out for number one. Jesus calls us to do the uncomfortable – the opposite – thing. To live for others, and not ourselves. To do everything we can to make the world around us better. To love even when it feels impossible.