Rule of Revenge
by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 9 January 2010 (1 Tobi;1 Tuba)
Holy Protomartyr Archdeacon Stephen.
But let your communication be, yea when you mean yea;
Nay, when you mean nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice,
Lord; lay not this sin to their charge. And when he
said this, he fell asleep.
Bow down thine ear O Lord, and hear me.
May heaven and earth and all that is within them sing
praises with us to the One Who has magnified our race.
(Ephraim the Syrian)
The love of continual prostration before God is prayer is the
sign of the death of one's spirit to the world and of its perception
of the mystery of the new life with God.
(The Spiritual Elder)
If you want your prayer to fly up high to God, give it two wings: Fasting and
The one in whose soul and bones the love of Christ has been
extended, cannot bear the unclean and vile passion.
(The Spiritual Elder)
When he arose he took the young Child and His Mother
by night and departed for Egypt and that the Prophecy
be fulfilled "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
Good and upright is the Lord; there He teaches sinners in the way.
The Jesus Prayer supports the poor in spirit,
and strengthens the endeavors of the weak.
We must have such great love for the Truth, that our words
will take on the character of oaths.
Lord Jesus, You are the Truth. Grant us a great love for all
truth. Let us devote our lives to it and speak nothing but the truth at all times.
You have heard that it hath been said; An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
The above quote comes from Deut.19:21. The preceding verses 16-20 deals
with False Witnessing, so here is a new law concerning retaliation which
follows on that concerning swearing. Though the original purpose of 'Lex
Talionis' was perhaps to restrict rather than to inculcate revenge, the
Shammite School of interpretation insisted upon its literal enforcement.
The legalistic basis of 'tit for tat' which must provide a general framework
for society, must also yield within the kingdom to the principle of grace.
Jesus carries the principle further in denouncing retaliation or revenge.
In Luke 6 we are told that if a man strikes you, offer him the other cheek also.
But this does not mean you should not defend another person. Go the extra
distance and not seek restitution.
The obligation to give is one to which the disciple is open without
limitation, though there is no command to give precisely what is asked for.
The Law commanded love thy neighbor. But they had great difficulty in
identifying who was your neighbor. But alas many extended this as hatred
for those who were not righteous, bit like the Pharisees.
In Exodus 23:4 it was provided that one should be kind to your enemy.
Persecutors are the most difficult enemy to love. However, prayer is an
essential step towards loving them. It all depends on whether we have
a family relationship with God. He does not discriminate in the bestowing of
His many Blessings. So likewise we should not be unmerciful and give praise
where praise is due and reward when one is deserving of a reward.
It is more Blessed to give than to receive. Give yourself whole heartedly to
the Work of the Kingdom and turn aside wrath. That is for God to mete out on
the Great Day of the Lord.
To Thee be glory and praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 5:11-13; Gospel Matt.10:24-33.
Morning: Psalm 33:19-20; Gospel John 12:20-26.
Liturgy: 2 Cor.11:16-12:2; 1 Peter 1:25-2:10; Acts 6:1-7:2;
Psalm 20:3-5; Gospel Luke 10:1-20.
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