Commentary on the Gospel of
Lex Talionis is the oldest law in the world, and Jesus quotes it in today’s gospel. On television news programs every evening you can see savagery that is much worse than anything the animals are capable of. A great improvement on that is the Lex Talionis: it like the laws of mechanics —force and counterforce. But the morality that Jesus teaches is without equal; it is the most creative of all. It is able to break the chain of violence, turn enemies into friends, make a new thing visible in the world: forgiveness, and it is able to give a dignity to human beings that is like the very dignity of God.