2020-02-237th Sunday in Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

The "eye for an eye" passage taken from the Old Testament is not a justification for revenge. It means just the opposite. It means just an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and no more than that. So often, when people quote this passage they mean that if you take one of my eyes, I will have your head.

Jesus goes on to say: when someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. Then Jesus says: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Many think that the teachings of Jesus are nave.

Mahatma Gandhi commented that perhaps the last Christian died on the cross. Gandhi was very impressed with the teachings of Jesus on nonviolence.

If Gandhi had fought the British, he would have lost. Gandhi used nonviolence to liberate India. Not offering resistance was the path to victory. You can only hit a person for so long. If he does not hit you back, eventually you give up hitting him.

There are more in prison today than ever before. It would be a lot cheaper to send people to college than it would be to send them to jail. My point is this: if you treat people harshly the chances of rehabilitation go down. If you treat people humanely the chances of rehabilitation increase.

Too many prisoners become hardened because they have no skills and when they get out of prison it is not long before they return to prison. It is a vicious circle because they cannot get a job.

We Catholics believe and teach that no sin is unforgiveable and no person is so bad they he or she cannot be redeemed. Jesus died for sinners, all sinners, even the worst.

All of us have been created in the image of God.

If you have never seen the movie, "Dead Man Walking", see it. It is based on a Louisiana nun's experience of counseling a death row inmate.

Tim Robbins, the director of the film said that the filming of the brutal rape and murder scenes were so wrenching that he and the cast were in favor of capital punishment but by the end of the filming he changed his mind.

Jesus prayed for his enemies. You and I want to be like Jesus. That is why we are here today.

All of us want to be happy. All of us want peace in our hearts. All of us want to get to heaven.

The path that Jesus takes is not an easy one for us. The message of Jesus is a difficult one but it has never really been tried. If people everywhere tried it, there would be peace in the world.

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