Sublimated Irritation

St. Barnabas, Apostle

Following up on Jesus’ declaration yesterday that he came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it, he points out for starters what the Law required, namely, “You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgement,” then challenges his listeners to dive deeper into the heart and mind of the Lawgiver, instructing them, to “go first and be reconciled, … then come and offer your gift.”

We find ourselves in a strange time, when many who are filled with anger and resentment over generations of systemic injustice and racism are making their voices heard, and are not being polite about it. I’m not saying they should. I cannot begin to know the depth of their hurts nor the weight of their burdens. When anger and resentment brims over, we who are governed by the Law of Love know not to act on these sentiments in ways that are harmful to our neighbor. But we do not govern other people’s actions. We can help to bring calm to the chaos created by the storm, most certainly by not adding to the turmoil by stoking more anger and resentment. Anger and resentment are very natural responses to injustice. But we still need to measure our response. The very same anger and resentment can be the catalyst for substantial change and reform. We just need to channel our energy toward outcomes that build and heal and reconcile.

Oysters make pearls. But pearls are formed when grains of sand somehow make their way into the tender, fleshy innards of these mollusks, cause intense irritation, and are coated in concentric layers of calcium carbonate secretions that harden into awesome and amazing objects of natural beauty and value. We have to remember that the oyster was first inconvenienced, irritated, and angered before it produced a precious pearl. So anger is not necessarily evil because anger can propel us to build and heal and reconcile, pearls of great beauty and value for the human family. But it is still entirely up to each of us how to respond to whoever and whatever causes us inconvenience, irritation, anger, and resentment.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Mary & Don Nemeyer.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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