Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Mt 5:20-26

Personal responsibility for reconciliation: Pointing out the spirit of the Mosaic Law, Jesus teaches that the commandment against the sin of murder is a command against anger: the cancerous cause, and not merely the effect.

Anger, as with all emotions, is neither good nor bad. It is helpful to understand how we experience anger and how we respond to it. One who angers us controls us!

Jesus teaches what modern psychology is more and more discovering: that for the avoidance of heart attacks and for overall good psychical health, we have to heal the basic attitude. Theologically, the sinfulness of the deeper attitude has the potential for manifesting itself in many acts unless it is recognized and brought to the Savior. When that happens, the act of sin can become a felix culpa, a happy fault, drawing awareness to the underlying attitude of alienation.

Not only must we pardon those who have offended us; we must be the first to seek reconciliation even when the fault is on the other side. Jesus says it is impossible to engage in worship, which is closely related to reconciliation with God, until we are at peace with our neighbor. He also recommends what today’s lawyers advise: the settling of disagreements equitably out of court. To concede today may be the best way to succeed tomorrow. Jesus is saying: Be open to talking, to listening, to risking change in our human relationships; how else can we be converted in our relationships with God?

Copyright © 2009 Grace and Space. All Rights Reserved. Maintained by the Society of St Paul.