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Repaying Evil with Good


“Our Lord tells us to repay evil with good.” St. Boniface spoke these words on the day he was martyred in eighth-century Germany. As he faced death, he was able to recall the mercy and compassion of God and to offer a spirit of forgiveness to those who took his life. Why did he have to die? Mostly because he took a view of life that differed from the view of those who did not believe in God. He confronted those who disagreed and then allowed them to take his life.
 
St. Boniface is a model of what we mean when we say that following Christ is following the way of the Cross. He lived a life of humble service and risked everything in the name of God. Most of us have not had to face the extreme choice of either denying our faith or dying for it, but each day we are asked to grow stronger in our faith in the midst of a society that wants us to be more successful, richer, stronger, and more powerful than anyone or anything. When we fall short of those expectations we face ridicule and embarrassment.
 
God calls for us to be loving and caring, humble and prudent, just and merciful. When we fall short of those expectations what do we face?
 
June 5th is the feast day of St. Boniface in the Church calendar. As we celebrate his life, let us reflect on how we can repay evil in our own lives with good. Kind words go a long way, and gestures of reconciliation can lead to a change in the way someone responds to a situation. These are not the ways of the world, but we know that they are God’s ways. Could they truly be our ways?
 
Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and loves working with Young Adults as the program manager of Theology on Tap.

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