A friend shared with me how he gets even with taxi drivers who scam their passengers in the city. Whenever he is overcharged, he does not anymore argue. Instead he gives the amount asked by the driver and then says: “Keep all the money. Part of it is the just payment for the ride. The rest is my donation to whoever dies next in your family.”

When someone wrongs us, it is not easy to just let it pass. We are insulted; we feel hurt; and we want to retaliate, and soon! This was just the feeling of David’s assistant when finally they cornered the fleeing King Saul, his enemy. The aide wanted to kill Saul, but in a surprising twist, David forbade anyone to hurt the king.

In our gospel today, the Lord Jesus tells us to stretch our patience, to widen our understanding, and to enlarge our heart. For how else can you love your enemy, bless your persecutors or pray for your oppressors if you will not go against your nature?

If we follow our instinct, we will surely subscribe to what is called “sweet revenge.” We are ready to reciprocate in goodness and charity those who treat us well. But we would rather consider enemies those who maltreat us and with all our might, endeavor to see them suffer the same pain they inflicted on us. But what does revenge bring about? Definitely not peace, but more anger, hatred, violence and hurt. That is why the Christians of Jolo immediately called for calm and forgiveness after the recent cathedral bombing in the city that caused death and injury to many of the minority Christians living there.

Instead of revenge, the Lord Jesus is inspiring us to have recourse to “divine justice.” For the justice of God is his mercy. With the grace of God, we must learn to transcend the evil that people do to us: to love our enemies, to refrain from condemnation, to forgive even if it is difficult, and to give, as Mother Teresa said, until it hurts. This is certainly not easy, that is why only the person who clings to faith succeeds in surrendering the tragedies of life to the justice of God. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today reminds us to overcome the earthly tendencies because we bear in our souls the heavenly image.

Divine justice believes in the conversion of the sinner and the purification of the faithful. At times, it may take a long time, but in the end, it is sweeter indeed!