Friday, February 23, 2018

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.”

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. - Thomas a Kempis: (1380 –1471: was a German-Dutch canon regular of the late medieval period and the author of The Imitation of Christ)

Gospel Text: (MT 5:20-26)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"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.
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."

In the readings today from Mass we are told to love our neighbor, however difficult this may be, however unlovable the other person may be. It is not easy to love one who has wronged us or caused us pain or ridiculed us. It is so much easier just to ignore them or forget them.

Despite a person's ugly behavior or wrongdoing against us, we are called to love him because the Lord Jesus had truly loved us. How many times have we sinned before the Lord? And how many times has the Lord forgiven us and continued to show his love for us?

To forgive is not easy; only God is truly merciful without any conditions or limits. Daily, whenever we pray the Our Father, we ask to be forgiven as we forgive our neighbor: do we really mean what we are saying? How can we ask for God's forgiveness if we are not ready to forgive those who have offended us?

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