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The good news for the day June 9

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (362)

MT 5:20-26

Jesus says to his students: “You have heard people tell you, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and ‘Whoever kills someone will be liable to an indictment.’ But I am telling you that everyone angry with his brother or sister will be answerable to a judgment; whoever insults his brother or sister will be answerable to a higher court and whoever says, ‘You idiot’ will be just trash for the city dump. So then—say you’re bringing your donation for the collection to your house of prayer and on the way remember that your brother or sister has something against you, just drop your donation right there before you go on in. First, go back and set things right with your brother or sister—then come and make your donation. (Matthew 5)

These words challenge you to a different way of life altogether.

If you have accepted that with Jesus caring for others is important, then what is said here has little to say to you. If you have decided to work at goodness, at belonging to the family of God and confronting disagreement with non-violence, you will see agreement with what you already do.

If you’re angry a lot, it’s easy to call someone “stupid,” “idiot,” or some Internet abbreviation. It’s easy to mutter a putdown at someone you disagree with. It’s easier to let off steam against someone whose mind or heart offends you in what they say or do—someone disagreeable.

And yet—a mature person—you know that anger—especially anger nursed through denials and uncomfortable truth—causes far more harm to angry people than the person who triggers it. Only with a peaceful heart—one healed of anger, the anger contained—can you talk with God. Prayer and gratitude rise easily in the calm maturity of the non-angry person—because anger implies that you judge the “other” is less, is wrong,–and is judged. Anger or respect—that defines whether you are a Child of our Father. Be at peace; be grateful. You belong in the realm of what’s right.

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