Offer no resistance to one who is evil...
#3
Like many of our Lord's sayings, it is a difficult one that is meant to show the way of the meek. Our Lord is showing us not to return evil with evil, but with good, it is a lesson on self-restraint. Recall when our Lord was being forcibly taken by the Jews, and St. Peter lashed out with force. Our Lord rebuked him and said that His Father could send legions of angels to strike his persecutors down, but, instead he took the road of restraint. We are to be instruments of God's goodness, meaning we must bear those evils inflicted on us for the sake of converting those who afflict us.
I believe it is meant to address evil against oneself, not necessarily that inflicted on others. Remember that God will ultimately serve as the Judge for all evil and will avenge all sin.

Here's what St. John Chrysostom has to say on this verse:
"What then? it is said, ought we not to resist the evil one? Indeed we ought, but not in this way, but as He has commanded, by giving one's self up to suffer wrongfully; for thus shall you prevail over him. For one fire is not quenched by another, but fire by water. And to show you that even under the old law he that suffered rather prevails, that he it is who wins the crown; examine just what is done, and you will see that his advantage is great. For as he that has begun with unjust acts, will have himself destroyed the eyes of both, his neighbor's and his own (wherefore also he is justly hated of all, and ten thousand accusations are aimed at him): so he that has been injured, even after his equal retaliation, will have done nothing horrible. Wherefore also he has many to sympathize with him, as being clear from that offense even after he has retaliated. And though the calamity be equal to both parties, yet the sentence passed on it is not equal, either with God, or with men. It should seem then, that neither is the calamity equal in the end.

Now whereas at the beginning He said, he that is angry with his brother without a cause, and he that calls him fool shall be in danger of hell fire, here He requires yet more entire self-restraint, commanding him that suffers ill not merely to be quiet, but even to be more exceedingly earnest in his turn, by offering the other cheek.

And this He says, not as legislating about such a blow as this only, but as teaching also what forbearance we should practise in all our other trials. For just as when He says, whoso calls his brother fool, is in danger of hell, He speaks not of this word only, but also of all reviling; even so here also He is making a law, not so much for our bearing it manfully, when smitten, as that we should be undisturbed, whatever we suffer. Because of this He both there singled out the extremest insult, and here has set down that which seems to be of all blows most opprobrious, the blow on the cheek, so full of all insolence. And He commands this as having regard both of him that strikes and of him that is stricken. Since both he that is insulted will not think that he suffers any harm, being thus framed to self-restraint (nay, he will not even have any sense of the insult, as striving rather for a prize than as receiving a blow); and he that is offering the affront will be made ashamed, and not add a second blow, though he be fiercer than any wild beast, yea, rather will condemn himself heartily for the former. For nothing so restrains the wrong doers, as when the injured bear what is done with gentleness. And it not only restrains them from rushing onward, but works upon them also to repent for what has gone before, and in wonder at such forbearance to draw back. And it makes them more our own, and causes them to be slaves, not merely friends, instead of haters and enemies; even as avenging one's self does just the contrary: for it both disgraces each of the two, and makes them worse, and their anger it heightens into a greater flame; yea, often no less than death itself is the end of it, going on from bad to worse. Wherefore He not only forbade you to be angry when smitten, but even enjoined you to satiate the other's desire, that so neither may the former blow appear to have befallen you against your will. For thus, lost as he may be to shame, you will be able to smite him with a mortal blow, rather than if you had smitten him with your hand; or if his shamelessness be still greater, you will make him gentle in proportion."
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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Offer no resistance to one who is evil... - by Augustinian - 11-18-2020, 10:11 AM



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