22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Pete’s message at the Eucharist on Friday re the above Gospel passage and Chris’s prayers – love the talent and gift among the community!
Reflection on Matt 5:22
- Jesus knows human nature too well to be fooled by any of it, so He’s not saying “Don’t get angry” – He knows we will do.
- In Eph 4 (26&7) Paul says “Be angry but do not sin”
- Feelings are neither right nor wrong – they have no moral meaning- they are merely indicators of what’s happening in our lives at other levels. Anger is a telling & necessary emotion long before it’s a sin.. (Quote from Richard Rohr)
- 2 ways we seem to stray into. 1) We repress our anger, & later on it comes out in other ways like depression, stress, irritability, perhaps heart attacks. Or 2) We fly off the handle at someone and do some serious damage to our relationships. Clearly, neither is helpful.
- Perhaps we need to do some work with our anger, not get rid of it until we understand what we’re actually angry about.
- Contemplative prayer is something I’m finding helpful here, a non-verbal prayer where you notice – non-judgementally- what’s going on in your inner world.
- Perhaps for some, it might help to talk things out with someone, although you need to know who you can trust. Church may not always a very real place!
Chris’s prayer about anger:
Lord Jesus, I want to thank you for the gift of anger. You were pretty angry over injustice when you walked this earth and you let it work for you and the Father’s purposes. Sometimes in church when someone is preaching I want to shout out in anger that they’re wrong about something! There is a time and a place for anger. Please help us to learn what our anger is trying to show us, and express it in ways that are healthy. Amen.