Posted by: frburke23 | June 16, 2013

Thought for Monday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5:38-42


Jesus said to his disciples:

“You have heard that it was said,

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.

When someone strikes you on your right cheek,

turn the other one to him as well.

If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,

hand him your cloak as well.

Should anyone press you into service for one mile,

go with him for two miles.

Give to the one who asks of you,

and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”


How difficult it is to follow Jesus’ instruction at times…  Our natural reaction when we are hurt or offended is to strike back and make the other person feel what we have felt.  But Jesus tells us to “offer no resistance”, “turn the other [cheek]”, go the extra mile, give until it hurts…

In these eleven years as a priest I have not always lived up to these teachings by the Lord.  I have failed many times.  However, I have found that when I practice these difficult teachings there is so much grace. 

How do we learn to forgive?  I always try to sit in front of a crucifix and call to mind the Lord’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  It also helps me to realize that few people wake up and think, “How can I make your life miserable today?”  One of my best friends taught me that if someone offends me, seek to understand where they are coming from.  Often there is miscommunication or a lack of understanding. 

How is the Lord asking you to put these teachings into practice?  Is there someone at work or school that tests your patience?  Has someone hurt you?  Ask the Lord for the grace to love and forgive those who hurt us, to be patient with those who try our patience, to give until it hurts.

Have a blessed day,

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation: 

Lunes de la XI Semana del Tiempo Ordinario

Evangelio según San Mateo 5,38-42.
Ustedes han oído que se dijo: Ojo por ojo y diente por diente.
Pero yo les digo que no hagan frente al que les hace mal: al contrario, si alguien te da una bofetada en la mejilla derecha, preséntale también la otra.
Al que quiere hacerte un juicio para quitarte la túnica, déjale también el manto;
y si te exige que lo acompañes un kilómetro, camina dos con él.
Da al que te pide, y no le vuelvas la espalda al que quiere pedirte algo prestado.


Abecés que difícil es seguir la instrucción de Jesús…  Nuestra reacción natural cuando estamos heridos o ofendidos es la venganza y hacer que la otra persona sienta lo que hemos sentido.  Pero Jesús nos dice que ” no hagan frente al que les hace mal, “preséntale también la otra mejilla”,   sigue adelante, da  hasta que te duela.

En estos once años que tengo de sacerdote, no siempre e llevado acabo estas enseñanzas del Señor.  Sin embargo, me a dado cuenta que cuando practico estas enseñanzas difíciles, hay tanta gracia.  Tenemos que aprender a la disciplinar  la voluntad y el intelecto.  No podemos simplemente reaccionar a los demás,  tenemos que ser personas de oración y de prudencia.

¿Cómo te esta pidiendo el Señor que pongas estas enseñanzas en práctica?  ¿Hay alguien en el trabajo o la escuela que pone a prueba tu paciencia?  Pídele al Señor  la gracia de poder amar aquellos que nos hierren, a ser paciente con aquellos que retan nuestra paciencia, dar hasta que nos duela.

Que tengas un buen día,

Fr. Burke



  1. Dear Fr Burke,

    Getting revenge and not gossiping, are two of the most critical lessons to learn. I have been hurt by family members and friends…I have hurt family members and friends. We are all sinners. I have Catholic neighbors who are the worst gossips and so I tend to keep
    to myself. I am becoming a recluse because
    I don’t exposure to gossip. And so, I have decided to pray the rosary and not just forgive those who have hurt me, but pray for them. I used to think that by speaking the truth” and revealing dishonesty and scandal, I was being vigilant. Instead, without realizing it, I was just stirring the pot. Better to walk
    away and let God handle matters.

    Jesus loves every soul and wants everyone to go to heaven, especially, the lost sheep who are trying to find their way home. I don’t believe it is a Catholic “thing”, it is Judeo-Christianity.

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