Daily Reflection – 3/15/19
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”( Matthew 5:20-26)
Today we read in the gospel that whoever kills will be liable to judgment, but Jesus adds another dimension and says that “whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” Now I think that we would all agree that killing is very wrong, but getting angry with someone, we shouldn’t even do that?!? Why is it that Jesus is telling us to control our anger like this?
I think that the reason why we are told to control our anger is because we are called to be loving and merciful, not bitter and uncompassionate. If we think about this, letting anger live inside us can certainly lead to resentment and other harsh feelings towards someone; who knows, if those feelings grow inside of us what they might lead us to do. We know it can lead to feelings that block love and therefore block God in our lives. Jesus teaches us this about anger so that we cannot only learn to forgive and love as God loves us, but to also learn how to humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. If we are truly to be the men and women that we are called to be, then we must learn how to give in to love, rather than anger.
In the cross of Jesus we see the supreme example of love and the power for overcoming evil. Only God’s love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge. Do you harbor any anger towards another person? Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and truth.
Prayer of The Day
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. We thank you for the opportunity to go out and love others as you love us. Lord, help us to never let go of you, and to always follow your ways. Help us be slow to anger and quick to love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today let us reflect on this passage from Saint Paul: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Cor 13:4-8). May we all learn to love as we are called to.