Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A Thought for Tuesday 3/5/13

“As for the head of those who surround me, let the evil of their lips cover them; let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again.  Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; let evil hunt the violent person to overthrow them.”  Psalm 140:9-11

Reading such passages, it is important to remember that the psalmist is expressing his own disdain for those who continually seek to persecute the nation of Israel, God’s own chosen people.  It is not unlike the contempt David expressed as Goliath dared to challenge the Lord’s people and the Lord’s own anointed (King Saul at that time).  Yet Jesus reminds us that praying and wishing for the judgment of these who commit evil acts against us is not our place.  Rather we are called to “pray for those who persecute” us, and we are challenged to “bless those” who wish us harm.  And St. Paul reminds us that our acts of kindness in the face of maltreatment and persecution will “heap burning coal upon their heads”.

“Vengeance is mine”, says our Lord, and it is important that we not get involved in “repaying evil for evil”.  This is NOT the way of Christ, and it must never be the way of Christ’s people.  Our Lord’s own judgment will cover the sins of ALL who violate His decrees; and our evil acts will be bring judgment upon us.  We are called to rise above the hate, the slander, the spite, and to judge ourselves; because we are called to something much greater.  We are not, nor have we ever been, called to be like everyone else; we are commanded to be better than that.

Perfection comes by the grace of our Lord himself; this is something we cannot attain on our own.  Striving to be better tomorrow than we are today, however, is completely within our power and within the realm of “bearing fruit worthy of repentance”; fruit that testifies to our faith. 


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