Daily Reflection for Thursday, June 09, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Kings 18:41-46
Responsorial: Psalm 65:10-13
Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment… Matthew 5:22
The heading for most of the Gospel passage for today is Teaching about Anger. So, when would you say you were last angry? Annoyance and anger can come easily to me so let me embarrassingly admit my most recent episode of anger/strong annoyance was, of all places, at Holy Mass. I was quite distracted by it. It impeded my focus and attention. I also noted that it fed itself. It was very easy to stay in the anger since the offending stimulus didn’t disappear (and then it was easy to be angry not only with the offensive behavior but also because I didn’t want to be and shouldn’t have been angry at that moment in that place!) It required introspective action to identify my role in the equation so I might seek to begin to let it go and focus on what I was there for.
What about anger/resentment? There are various forms and it’s incumbent upon us to learn our triggers, our reactions and the actions (internally and externally) that result from it. Does our anger manifest in an avoidant, passive aggressive way? Is it impulsive and unpredictably volatile? Be it negative talk, poor self-esteem, or substance abuse/disordered eating, is any of our hurt rooted, perhaps, in self-harm? In today’s polarized environment on most any issue, does our anger take a moral/judgmental position as righteous indignation at someone else's actions?
Today’s Gospel urges reconciliation with an offended brother. It warns of the fate of unrepentant sinners and hints at an ascending order of punishment based on higher degree of offenses. Bitterness, anger, and resentment are all part of our humanity. It isn’t wrong for us to experience them. Jesus knows this. It’s what we do with them and how we carry them that is the point of today’s Gospel.
How do you carry your hurts and your anger and resentment?
At Mass during the procession of the gifts, let’s present our hurts and our examples of feeling wronged, laying them at the foot of the altar. As the gifts of bread and wine are transformed, let us also pray for a parallel ever-evolving transformation of our hearts.