Homily for Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus wants His disciples not to repay evil with evil, but to respond to evil with goodness. The worst instinct in human nature is to respond with malice to goodness, as instanced by the rejection and Crucifixion of the One who “went about doing good; for God was with Him.”[1] The best instinct of human nature is to overcome evil with good. This could be called the divine impulse — God’s own impulse. It was the main characteristic of Jesus Christ. He overcame the evil that was done to Him with good. In the very moment when He was wrongly rejected, He revealed His love most completely. He lived and died to overcome evil with good.

It is the hardest challenge to remain good in the face of evil, to remain loving in the face of hostility, to be faithful even if one is betrayed, to be peacemakers in a hostile world. We simply could not do it by our own strength alone. We need God’s strength, God’s resources, God’s Spirit — but we need not fear failure for this strength, and grace is promised to us. St, Paul calls on us “not to receive the grace of God in vain.”[2] God is always gracing us and if we rely on His grace we can keep working towards that ideal of overcoming evil with good.+


[1] Acts: 10:38

[2] 2 Corinthians 6:1

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