(Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, September 10, 2017.
The existence of evil requires two or more people harming one another: the perpetrator of the wrongdoing and the victim – who, on account of harming one another, degrade their human dignity.
– The perpetrator of the wrongdoing degrades his own human dignity by reason of his failure to respect the dignity of others.
– The victim of the wrongdoing degrades his human dignity only if he responds in a retaliatory manner against the perpetrator.
How to stop the spread of evil?
“If your brother sins [commits a wrong] against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother” (Matthew 18:15).
It is, therefore, in the hands of the victim (understood as an individual or a nation) to stop evil in its tracks, to correct the harmful effects of evil by communicating with the wrongdoer in order to ask him to stop the wrongdoing.
If he wrongdoer stops, evil no longer has control over him; evil will not produce ill effects on the victim (for by refusing to resort to retaliation, the victim stops the vicious cycle of evil). In other words, evil has been defeated; you have won over your brother.
In order to defeat evil, we must accept that we are all brothers (children of the same Father). Evil always occurs among brothers because it appears when a brother does wrong to his brother. But it is only when the victim of the wrongdoing fails to go and tell [the perpetrator] of his fault (so he may win over his brother) that enmity takes over both of them; that is, evil takes possession off both of them.
If the wrongdoer does not stop his wrongdoing (“does not listen”), the victim – after exhausting all peaceful means available – is to treat the perpetrator as a “Gentile or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). And, how did Jesus treat “Gentiles and tax collectors”? He gave his life to save them!
God warns us: “If I tell the wicket man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicket man from his way, he [the wicket man] shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death” (Ezekiel 33:8-9).
Whenever God is in the midst of two or more persons, they no longer harm one another; evil ceases to exist.
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco).