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Friday of the First Week in Lent. The reading is from Gospel of Mathew 5:20-26.

Jesus Preaching the Sermon on the Mount by Gustave Dore

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.

We all know what anger is. One time or another, we all have felt slightly angry due to some minor annoyance or as full-fledged fury due to happenings beyond our control.

Anger, according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger, is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.”

Like other emotions, anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes such as increase in the rate of heart beat and blood pressure. Increase in the levels of our energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Psychologists also tell us that anger is a human emotion that is completely normal and generally healthy. But, when anger gets out of control and turns destructive, it can make us feel as though we are at the mercy of an unpredictable power that can lead to problems, even murder.

Listen to Jesus on anger management.

  • 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. (Mathew 5:22)

and then he says,

  • “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.” (Mathew 5:23-24).

So, does someone have something against you? Or, do you have something against him? Follow the way of Jesus; go and reconcile right now – whether you are right or wrong!

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