Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Let your gentleness overcome my anger.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to reconcile.)
Jesus teaches a “greater goodness” which is demanded by the holiness of this new Kingdom. In this gospel, he compares the Old Testament teaching on anger and his new teaching. Jesus desires a oneness among his disciples by avoiding anger.
Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus taught the disciples about anger, saying, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not kill’ and ‘Whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of judgment. Whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raqa’ shall be in danger of the council. Whoever shall say ‘You fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
If you come to the altar to offer your gift and remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your offering before the altar and go first to be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift.”
Thoughts. (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus raises the Old Law to a new level and invites the disciples to live at that new height.
- The law commanded only external compliance. Jesus’ Kingdom goes much deeper, into the disciples’ hearts.
- Jesus’ disciples must remove their inner anger. Then, violence will cease.
- He forbids angry words, so hatred has no hold.
- He even demands that the temple sacrifices be delayed until the disciples reconcile.
- Jesus gives new precedents and requires total selflessness.
Affections (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, make me gentle.
- Save me, O Lord, from the violent waters of anger. Bring me to the restful waters of your Spirit.
- Even on the cross, you spoke no angry word. You were silent as a lamb going to the slaughter.
- Release a river of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation within me.
- Reconcile me to all of my family and friends.
- O Jesus, I will drink deeply of your forgiveness.
Resolution (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- Today, I will forgive everyone who hurts me.
- I will reconcile with my enemies wherever possible.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Leave your gift at the altar and go to be reconciled with your brother.