An Eye for an Eye?


(Monday of the 11th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1st Kings 21:1-16, Psalm 5:2-7, Matthew 5:36-42).

“Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” (1 Kings 21:15)

The strongest instinct in any living creature is survival; we would do everything to fight back, to defend our lives from being taken away. So how can we obey these words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage? First and foremost, we must remember that there is just no other way.

If we all take an eye for an eye, there would soon be humans without eyes. If we took a tooth for a tooth, there would soon be people without teeth, in short, if we never forgive and let go, the human species itself would soon disappear. It is by forgiving others that we live up to our calling as the salt of the earth and light of the world.

There is a lot of wickedness already in the world and the cure for this wickedness is not more wickedness but love. In today’s first reading, we how Jezebel connived to put Naboth to death for refusing to sell his land to King Ahab. To this day, millions continue to suffer this way. In many parts of our country, farmlands are ransacked and seized by armed bandits who loot, rape, kill and take possession of such properties.

Note that it wasn’t the case that Ahab was a poor man, he was the king, but due to his insatiable greed, he couldn’t take his eyes off the property of poor Naboth. Greed is a very serious disease. We think that by getting one more of this or that, we would be happy, but how frustrated we become - the more we get, the more we wish we had more. After getting the land, was Ahab satisfied? Never.

As the cure for wickedness is love so also the cure for greed is love. The only way to avoid materialism is to learn how to be generous. The more you give things away, the more you realize you can survive and still be happy without; that only God can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart. By bringing joy rather than pain to others (even those who hurt you), you realize your own joy greatly multiplies.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to find inner satisfaction. Help me to give only love even when I get pain. Amen.

Happy new week. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.