Victory Vs. Violence

Matthew 11:11-15
Isa 41:13-20 / Psa 145:1,9-13

…the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence are taking it by force.
(Matthew 11:12)

Our voices shall not be silenced,
For justice and truth shall we stand;
Peace must overcome violence,
That freedom may reign in our land.

Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; and yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, whose coming was predicted. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.” – Matthew 11:11-15

Reflection

According to Jesus Himself, St. John the Baptist was the greatest of men born on earth. Jesus conferred this honor on St. John because of his humility, and his great courage to stand up against those who violated the law, even if they wielded power over life and death. The Baptist was in fact the first martyr of the violence that Jesus was talking about. But what did our Lord mean when He said the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than St. John the Baptist? Jesus was emphasizing the point that the kingdom of heaven is impregnable to all the evil and violence that are trying to take it by force. If King Herod, the greatest tyrant in Israel at that time, was unable to break the spirit and principles of St. John the Baptist, who was the least among God’s soldiers, how could any force from earth or hell ever hope to conquer the kingdom of heaven?

As Jesus had predicted, a long line of evil empires throughout the annals of history, wielding their might and power, would attempt but fail to subdue the kingdom of God and justice, with their principle of active non-violence, who would in the end prevail against the powerful unjust. God became incarnate in our Lord Jesus Christ as the perfect personification of that ideal, and He commissioned His cousin, St. John the Baptist to presage it. Mankind’s history is replete with many of Christ’s advocates who successfully followed the way of the cross. St. Thomas More, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jose Rizal, Ninoy Aquino, Mandela of South Africa are but a few who come to mind. They all clamored and fought for truth, freedom and justice, but never by any means of violence. The blood of these martyrs have given testimony to the victory of God’s kingdom against all the violent forces of evil.

In our country’s present political climate, many of us who advocate for honesty, peace, and non-violence are simply aghast at the overwhelming popularity of a presidential candidate known for his disregard for the rule of law, decency, and respect for spiritual leaders. One can only wonder why so many people, in their blind, fanatical adulation, cannot see the danger of putting the future of our country in the leadership of a man who clearly does not have the humility and purity of a genuine leader (like St. John the Baptist). Simply said, any man who has a propensity for cursing can never be a good man. Our Lord Jesus warns us in Matthew 15:11: “What comes out of a man’s mouth makes him unclean.”

Lord God, You have provided us with enough models like St. John the Baptist to counter the myth that the power to change the world belongs to the mighty. Thank You for the wisdom of knowing that it is to the meek and the gentle, the persecuted, the humble of heart, and the peacemakers that Your kingdom truly belongs. Amen.

One Response to “Victory Vs. Violence”

  1. ikoyee  on December 11th, 2015

    Simply said, any man who has a propensity for cursing can never be a good man. Our Lord Jesus warns us in Matthew 15:11: “What comes out of a man’s mouth makes him unclean.”

    How about those things that never come out in the mouth? Are you telling that Digong will never be a good man… is that a text from the bible. Actions speak louder than words… God can judge, man should never judge…thanks