In the face of hostility and anger, love teaches us to turn the other cheek, to say ‘I forgive you’.
Matthew 22: 34 – 40
The Pharisee reacted to Jesus for silencing the Sadducees by asking about the greatest commandment as a test. The world is very reactionary at present. A pandemic breaks out and the world’s reaction is a mixture of heightened caution and carelessness. A black man is killed in the US and the world begins to protest and clamour for justice. Three young men are shot in east Port of Spain and rioting started. Reactionary behaviour is not rational behaviour. It simply plays into the tit-for-tat game.
Jesus’ response to the Pharisee is neither exaggerated nor understated. He simply affirmed a truth. The greatest commandment is to love God and love one’s neighbour. Love is not reactionary. Love initiates. It takes decisive, positive action. In the face of hostility and anger, love teaches us to turn the other cheek, to say ‘I forgive you’, to reach out in friendship, to embrace, to dialogue, etc. Love is not simply reacting or being confrontational.