To Return Good for Evil
"See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all." (1 Thes 5: 15)
Not long ago my husband asked me for the second time whether I had found a babysitter for a concert he wanted to take me to. I had to admit that I hadn't even begun the search. He responded with anger - why did he have to ask again? Could it be that I didn't want to go? I was immediately hurt and snapped back. Standing before me was someone who needed me to be present to his needs. And all I could do was return anger for anger, hurt for hurt, evil for evil. I couldn't enter for a moment into his need to have an evening out, to be alone together for a short time away from the pressing needs of our six children. How infantile is the human heart! Our broken condition leaves us defensive and alone, accusing and accursed. The marital spat that played out for the first time in the garden of Eden ("She did it, blame her ... No, he did it!") is played out a thousand times a day. If we are able for a moment to rise above this scenario, to seek the good of the other instead of avenging our hurt, it is only because of a man who has entered our history in an entirely unexpected way. He takes upon himself the curse, he bears in his own body the vengeful wrath of the crowd. He returns good for evil. He transforms the human heart from within. Only his personal presence, the presence of a divine person - not an idea, not an ideal- can enable us really to overcome the sins that we have committed a thousand and one times. In the relationship of love between the soul and Jesus, everything that is low and petty and vengeful can be conquered and transformed.
Dear Jesus, you know my weakness. Come to me this day. Transform me with your love.
by Lisa Lickona from Praying With St. Paul by Magnificat Press p.283