Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

Matt 5:20-26

Teaching about Anger

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

At the end let us reflect these words of God from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel (18:21ff): “”But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”

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While taking a meal with a member of our community one day, he made a comment and said: “The advantage of living in a big community with a big dining room is that when you don’t feel like eating on the same table with somebody you don’t like, there are more tables to choose from.”

But what about someone who      lives in a small community like a family where there is usually only one table in the dining room. Can one afford to eat separately on a different table, time and place during mealtime in order to avoid those whom he is not in good terms with? Can one ever have joy and peace living in such community? Certainly, there will always be tension, sadness and difficulties in that place.

Jesus knows so well that neither can one live so peacefully and fruitfully nor can one praise and appear before God properly in the Eucharist, if one has so much anger and grudge against someone in the same community, family and workplace. His prescription is simple, “take a courageous step, go and be reconciled with the person first” before anything becomes meaningful in the eyes of God and others.

What makes it difficult for us to do this? Pride. Injury is too deep. Not deserving of my attention. Nothing good comes out from it. Surely, it can be less difficult for us if we take a good look at Jesus on the Cross. Did he not take the first step of reconciliation and forgiveness when he prayed to His Father: “Forgive them, Father! For they do not know what they are doing.”

If Jesus can do it wholeheartedly and unreservedly to anybody who hurt Him can we not do the same thing to people whom we need to reconcile with and to forgive at this time? Think more of the goodness that God has done for you. This will make less difficult for you to work for reconciliation in your community, in your family and areas of work. (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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An old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said: “My son, the battle is between two wolves. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson thought about for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” the old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed.”

Entering the Kingdom of heaven is the feeding the “wolf of righteousness’ in us. We do this by practicing and promoting its ways in action. We have to make sure that righteousness is always winning the best part of us.

It is, of course, not always easy, because the bad wolf will growl and assert itself. We have to starve it by resisting and refusing it to take hold of us.

Anger is one vicious wolf. To live with hatred in our heart is as bad as being condemned to the fire of Gehenna. The wisdom of Jesus teaches us that the desire for revenge and to strike back is never sweet, if anything at all, it makes bitter. A Chinese proverb says: “One who lives in anger and desires revenge should dig up two graves, one for the enemy, another for himself. Forgiveness and reconciliation are more liberating and sanctifying. And so Christ-like! (Fr. Emil Lim, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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“Touch me with noble anger,” says Shakespeare. He was not talking of flare-ups, irrational outbursts, or blowing one’s top at the least provocation. Noble anger is getting angry at the right time, at the right person, with the right purpose and on the right degree. Jesus’ anger at the moneychangers and sellers in the temple is noble.

The anger that Jesus tells us to avoid in today’s gospel is anger that is deep-seated. It keeps boiling for a long period of time, years, even decades. It is anger that is nursed and nurtured. It is anger that seeks vengeance; it takes pleasure in hurting someone or wishing evil on someone. Somebody even said that the word ‘anger’ is not far from the word ‘danger.’ The letter, ‘d’ may lead to something un expected. Destruction? Doom? Death? This is the kind of anger that we have to get rid off before we can really pray or offer sacrifices to God. The gifts we bring to the altar maybe “burnt offerings” indeed, but burned by the flames of anger. “it is mercy (forgiveness, love and reconciliation) I desire and not sacrifice,” says the Lord.

For all the good He had done to people, Jesus Himself had plenty of reasons to be angry. On that Good Friday, He was beaten up, cursed, made fun of, crucified and finally killed. But as He hung on the cross, He uttered that famous line: “Father, forgive them they do not really know what they are doing.”

When anger seems to overtake us, let us look at crucifix, the icon of anger management. Jesus teaches us how to handle anger. (Bible Diary 2007)

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Reconciliation and forgiveness are two important spiritual exercises not only among Christians but to people of all walks of life. But harmonious living and peaceful coexistence seem to be elusive nowadays. We often hear and read about wars, ethnic, cleansing, genocide, homicides, robberies, domestic conflicts, corruption and cheating. Reasons for these problems, could be individual pride, greed, environmental challenges, economic difficulties, tribal feuds and so on. Sometimes reconciliation is easy to accomplish but it takes time to do it. It can even take a lifetime.

In a conflict, we can either be on the side of the offender or the side of a victim. In both cases we are called to reconcile just the same. If we are the offender, we are called to seek forgiveness and make amends. If we are the victim, we are called to forgive. To seek forgiveness is often hard to do because of pride and the refusal to see our own weakness. To forgive can also be difficult to do because of the hurt and damage done to us. And the difficulty to forgive and to reconcile varies according to the degree of hurt or damage done. Those who can easily respond to the call to reconcile and to forgive are a blessing to us. But those who cannot for some reasons, reconciliation and forgiveness should not be imposed immediately upon them. We do not need to coerce them because to do so, we are adding burden to them. To forgive often needs time and grace from God.

In a world full of hate and conflicts, the Lenten message of today’s gospel becomes most meaningful to us. Christ reminds us that any material gift is inferior to interpersonal relationships and our relationship with God. A peaceful and harmonious life is more important than any material offering. While we need to be forgiven we should also be ready to forgive in any way we can. (Fr. Eugene Ducoy, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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There is a saying that goes this way, “the best medicine for forgetting is reminder.” In today’s gospel, the Lord is reminding us how to live our lives properly if we wish to enter the Kingdom of heaven. The question is, do people nowadays still believe in heaven or eternal life? If Jesus’ teachings are lived today by those who believe and follow him, then, there would be less people committing crimes and going to jail. The judges will not have voluminous work to do and the correctional facilities will be empty. In a recent survey on safest and crime-free countries in the world, Norway seems to top the list.  Could it mean that the people of this country are truly followers of Christ? In the Philippines, we are always proud to say that we are the only Christian country in Southeast Asia. However, everyday we hear news about all kinds of crimes: murder, rape, estafa, libel, theft, robbery, human trafficking, etc., which make us wonder if we are truly followers of Christ.

What every person does speaks of his/her beliefs, principles and faith. If we are truly followers of Christ (not just Christians by virtue of Baptism alone, but by doing and imitating what Christ did). As true believers of Christ, we are called to witness through our words and deeds the examples of the Master. (Bro. Jong Jacela SVD Bible Diary 2014)

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February 19, 2016 Friday

Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana talked at our Provincial Chapter (Chicago) last year on the gift of the religious in the church and in society. Asked whether the religious could be considered “prophets,” he replied: “It will be up to the people to consider that. We cannot say that for ourselves. What we are asked to do is to be witnesses!” Archbishop Tobin’s remark was a timely reminder for all the baptized: we are God’s witnesses throughout the earth.

Before he ascended into heaven Jesus said: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

One can be a witness without being a prophet. One can have the spirit without having the truth. Whoever has both spirit and truth is not only a credible witness but also a prophet. Whoever walks the talk can be considered a credible witness and indeed a prophet. One whose righteousness (doing the will of God) surpasses that of the Pharisees will enter the kingdom of heaven.

During this Lenten season, let us think not only what we should not be doing but also of what we ought to be doing. It is easy to give up things as a form of sacrifice for Lent but the real sacrifice is what we actually do: forgive those who have wronged us, reach out to the needy, be more patient with loved ones especially the elderly and those with special needs. If we can do all this, we will indeed be credible witnesses of God’s kingdom and be also considered prophets. Let us pray for the courage to do what we should. (Fr. Kaloi Macatangga, SVD Toronto, Canada Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/459-february-19-2016-friday

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ANGER: Jesus got angry in the temple because the people were turning the temple into a marketplace. Jesus got angry with the scribes because they valued the law more than the hunger of the disciples. He got angry with the Pharisees because they valued the law more than the crippled man who could not walk. He got angry with the scribes and the Pharisees and called them brood of vipers.

So what is Jesus saying? That we must not get angry? The anger of the Lord referred to in the gospel is not the same anger as the anger in the temple or the anger at the Pharisees or the anger at the scribes because they were hard-hearted. The anger that the Lord refers to in the gospel is anger that is nourished, anger that is nurtured, anger that is enlarged, anger which is resentment which is developed through the years. Anger that we don’t like to let go.

We are all guilty of that including this priest talking to you. That kind of anger that we nurture, that kind of anger that we bring with us to sleep, that kind of anger that we wake up with, that is the kind of anger that is displeasing in the sight of God.

Modern psychologists call it a resentment which turns to resistance and then builds up towards revenge. We all know that, quietly from a distance, when we see misfortune on the one who did us wrong, we say: “Sweet revenge.”

“Wala pa akong ginagawa, pinaparusahan kana ng Dios.” (I haven’t done anything yet, and there God is punishing you).

How is the Lord inviting us to respond to this resentment, resistance and revenge? What should our response be?

First, communication, second, compromise and third, contemplation.

First, communication. If there is resentment, if there is “sama ng loob” (hurt feelings), if there is resistance in your heart, talk. Talk about your feelings with those concerned. Communicate. Build bridges not walls.

Compromise. It is not to compromise with evil. It is rather to look for meeting points, to look for halfway points where one party can give way and the other can give way and people can meet halfway, without compromising morality, without compromising the commandments. There are some things that we can give up. There are some things that we must keep absolutely but we must learn to give way.

The third C is contemplation. When we have met halfway, let us look at the same direction and pray. (Bp. Soc Villegas, Love Like Jesus, p. 36-37).

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I, THE PHARISEE: There was one Saturday when there were so many people who came to Mass. The number was so great that the people standing reached all the way to the area in front of the lectern. The gospel then was about the Pharisee and the tax collector, the publican. In my homily, I charitably lambasted the Pharisee and I told those listening that the Pharisees should not be emulated. I said that the Pharisees were hypocritical and that they did not know how to acknowledge that they were sinners.

After I said my last sentence, which was quite abrupt, I replaced the microphone in its holder. It was when I noticed the woman who was standing right in front of the lectern heave a deep sigh and audibly remarked, “Thanks be to God, I’m not like the Pharisee.”

We have something of the Pharisee in us. If we think somebody is less deserving to go to Communion than us, that is pharisaical. If we think somebody should not go to Communion while we are qualified to go to Communion, does not that attitude reveal the Pharisee in us? If we think somebody goes to Mass because that person just wants to make friends or has a crush on the priest, while we are better qualified to go to Mass because our intentions are pure, isn’t that something of a Pharisee in us?

The sad thing about being a Pharisee is this: “It is very easy to recognize the Pharisee in other people but it is very difficult to consider ourselves one. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 150)

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ANGER KILLS: Despite our excuses, despite our rationalizations, the gospel is very clear: Those who harbour grudges against other people commit murder. There are varying degrees.

The first degree, which is bad enough, is sustained anger. When the Lord said that you must not be angry with your brother, He was referring to anger that remains for months and years. This is the type of anger that may have subdued but that we insist on rekindling to avoid reconciliation. This is a kind of anger, not of another, but of yourself. With this anger, you hurt yourself because you allow it to rage inside, denying your peace. You will hurt yourself because no matter what you pray for, you will not regain your joy. You will always be bitter, you will be always under pressure, you will always have that frown on your face. And this is first class murder.

A worse kind of murder is when we say contemptuous words. This is true of people who always curse and look for bad things in people. This is not only a sin against yourself it is a sin against God. It is tantamount to blaming God for creating such creatures as your fellowmen. When you hurt someone like that, you hurt yourself and you hurt God.

How do you repair it? It is by an apology and by being kind.

The worst of these types of murder is what we are all use to: gossip. Gossip is not a simple as it appears to be. It is worse than sustained anger. It is worse than a nasty or arrogant word.

Why is it the worst of all? It is because, as they say, “earth has ears and news have wings.” When you gossip with people and say detrimental things about somebody else, what you say will be transmitted to others, no matter what you do. This is the nature of gossip. And even if you have to, you cannot correct or take back what you said.

Gossip is not only accomplished by word of mouth. It can also take the form of irresponsible journalism. Who can correct a libellous and scandalous report? Even if you correct it, the damage will have been done.

When we talk about other people, when we talk about our suspicions of one another, not to the person suspected, but to somebody else, we destroy the reputation of another and the damage is irreparable.

The first kind of anger is sustained anger. The second type, which is worse, is the use of contemptuous words – arrogant, angry, without love – to the point that we blame the Creator for the existence of such a creature. The third and worst class is gossip – when we destroy each other, when we stab each other in the back.

I ask you now, what kind of murderer are you? What kind of murder have you committed?

It is not yet too late. There are angers we have kept for years. There are angers we have refused to recognize. There are murders we have inflicted on people and they have died a thousand deaths because of our harshness. There are also murders that are going on right now because of the gossip that originated from us.

Those who kill violate God’s commandments. The murderers cannot live in God’s grace.

We will ask the Lord to make us instruments of life, of love, of truth. We will pray that the Lord will sustain us with this grace so that we will always be full of love for, and not anger and resentment against one another. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus Always Jesus, pp. 169-170)

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Reflection: Is it possible for us not to get angry? No, because we are human beings we have feelings. But could we manage our anger so that it will not lead us to do regrettable actions? Yes, anger is manageable, for example if someone has wronged you, don’t immediately react for you may do something that you may regret afterwards. If someone did you wrong just be cool under duress and calmly talk to the person to sort things out. Thus you save yourself from further trouble.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives us teaching about anger and the actions that we must do to immediately heal the anger in our hearts. Jesus tells us, I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment (Matthew 5:22).  If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).

Are we capable of following these commands of Jesus? This is difficult to do most especially if we did not cause the conflict. But the true mark of a follower of Jesus is our willingness to obey what Jesus commands us to do. In this case, to offer the olive branch of reconciliation even if we did not cause the conflict.

Are we humble enough to initiate reconciliation and to let bygones be bygones? (Marino J. Dasmarinas)

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-reflection-for-friday-march-14-first.html

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Reflection for February 27, Friday of the First Week of Lent; Matthew 5:20-26 Reflection: What is the antidote to sin or what could defeat sin or hatred? Its humility, forgiveness and love. For example if you sin against your spouse the cure for this sin is to humble yourself before your spouse. You do this by  saying, I’m sorry for hurting you or  I’m sorry for betraying your trust.

If your spouse loves you dearly you can expect forgiveness, the mitigating factor here is  your humility to admit your offense or sin. But not everyone of us are willing to say, I’m sorry for to admit ones mistake or to say I’m sorry is one  of the hardest words to say. But if there’s humility in us we will not think twice to apologize for this will once again heal the relationship.

But the paradox is, we are quick to sin yet we are not quick to apologize  or some are not even willing to apologize. And this lack of humility on our part creates bigger trouble/s in our married relationship or any other kind of relationship for that matter.

In our gospel Jesus is teaching us about humility and to have the courage to admit our own mistakes or shortcomings (Matthew 5:23-25). Why? Because if we are willing to humble ourselves and if we have the courage to admit our own sinfulness. We therefore save ourselves from further trouble/s but if we continue to be dominating and arrogant then trouble/s would always be with us.

Would we be willing to humbly apologize to somebody whom we have offended? To reach-out or to apologize is hard to do but it’s also a redemptive experience for it will set us free from the bondage of guilt and sin.  – Marino  J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/02/reflection-for-february-27-friday-of.html

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Hasta Mañana: It was semestral break in the seminary. One morning I did a general room cleaning. I the afternoon, I opened my letters which had already accumulated to a pile about-inch thick. My attention was caught by an unusual envelope which had nothing written on it but the words, “Enjoy.” I opened it and inside was a free meal stub for two at my favourite restaurant sent by a friend. My heart skipped a beat. I will have a good dinner. But when I checked the back of the stub, the promo had already expired.

This reminded me of a story about a man named Bill. He had never gone to church in his life. one day, he said: “When it freezes in June (June is summer time in the States), then I will go to Church.”

One year there was an unusually cold spring and it stayed that way into June. The temperature dipped to freezing point for several nights. Everyone thought about what Bill had said. Perhaps this time he would finally attend church. And he did. One Sunday, Bill made his first appearance in the church building: the organ was playing, six men carried him in. bill finally made it, but he was lying in a casket instead of sitting on a pew.

Don’t wait until you’re “frozen” before you decide to enter God’s house. Meditate on today’s first reading. Ezekiel speaks of the need for the wicked man to turn away from his sins, for a time of accounting will come. In the gospel, Jesus uses the parable of settling issues with an opponent.

Like me and Bill, we are all fond of the mañana habit, or putting off for tomorrow what can and should be done today. More frightening is spiritual procrastination, for he who procrastinates in this life will have an eternity to regret it.  Let me end by reconstructing a poem once forwarded to me.

I love to be with God’s people to read the Bible and pray,

To sing songs of salvation, so I’ll go to church today.

But procrastination is my sin, it has brought me nothing but sorrow.

And I know, I shall be converted….Tomorrow.

One what area of your life does spiritual procrastination has a strong hold? (Fr. Joel Jason Sabbath 2014 p. 76).

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Friday of the 1st Week of Lent (A)

Matthew 5:20-26. Do we aspire to live in peace with others? Jesus teaches the need to reach out and get reconciled with enemies and accusers before we bring our gifts to the altar. Otherwise, our offerings will have no value in God’s eyes. This gospel inspires us to say the heartwarming prayer of Eusebius, a 3rd century Father of the Church: “May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I wish for all people’s happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. Amen.” ( Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/03/tuesday-of-1st-week-of-lent-a.html

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT (YEAR C) – MATEO 5:20-26. UNSA MAY MAGHIMO SA TAWO NGA MATARONG ATUBANGAN SA DIOS? Para sa mga Pariseo, ang pagsunod sa mga letra sa Balaod maoy maghimo kanilang matarong. Apan alang kang Kristo, dili pa kini igo. Ang tawo mahimo lamang nga matarong kon siya matinud-anon sa iyang mga gipangbuhat. Himoon niya ang pag-ampo, pagpangayo’g pasaylo, pagpakig-uli, pagtabang sa kabos, ug pag-amping sa kinaiyahan tungod kay nasayod siya nga kini ang sakto. Buhaton niya kini bisan kon walay mga tawo nga nagtan-aw kaniya. Si Kristo nagtudlo nga kon magbuhat kita’g maayo aron lamang daygon, mahisama kita sa “pinaputing lubnganan” nga limpyo lamang sa gawas apan hugaw ang sulod. Ning panahon sa Kwaresma, aduna kitay daghang mga tulumanon. Hinaot unta nga himoon nato ang tanan sa kinasingkasing nga paagi. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/02/friday-of-1st-week-of-lent-year-c.html

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Be positive, be constructive, and be proactive

Through the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel God says: “You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?” Then God makes His standpoint crystal clear. It is not He who is the cause of their troubles but their own transgressions. They are simply reaping what they have sown. Jesus illustrates this law of causality or theory of karma quite picturesquely: “From their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every good tree yields good fruits, and a rotten tree yields bad fruits. A good tree cannot yield evil fruits, nor can a rotten tree yield good fruits. Every tree, which does not yield good fruit, is cut down, and is thrown into the fire. Therefore from their fruits you shall know them” (Mt 7: 16-20).

Therefore, Jesus instructs his disciples the way to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is through doing the right thing expected of them. Kingdom of God belongs to those who live up to the plan of God. Through loving and forgiving the disciples of Jesus should generate a divine milieu within and around them. Jesus indicates that the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees were negative. They thought that they are entitled to have all the best without any contribution or cooperation from their part. Those who discern the tone of the Ten Commandments can readily recognize that in general they are negative and forbidding rather than positive and constructive. Jesus wanted his followers grow and go beyond the Pharisaic attitude of entitlement. Be positive, be constructive, and be proactive. It is through our life and attitude that we should prove our mettle.

Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

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SAVING GRACE – “Go first and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” – Matthew 5:24

My girlfriend and I were driving to Tagaytay one weekend to serve in a retreat. I can’t remember now what sparked our fight but we were soon irritated at each other. Tempers rose and we hurled hurtful words at each other. By the time we reached the venue, neither of us wanted to budge from our seats.

And then it hit us. We couldn’t give what we didn’t have. So we held each other’s hands and calmed down. We humbly prayed to God for forgiveness, peace, healing and understanding. We asked God to remain at the center of our relationship. We reconciled and left all the hurt behind.

We got out of the car refreshed and grateful to God. That weekend turned out to be one of the best retreats we had ever served in. It was full of healing, anointing and ease.

I thank God for His saving grace at that moment. He reminded us that before we begin to love and serve others, we should love and serve our own relationships first. Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

Reflection: How are your relationships? Are they pleasing to God?

Lord, in my desire to love and honor You, make me remember that giving love and honor to my brother or sister is what You want me to do.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-27

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PERSONAL FAITH – The sign of the cross is central to the Christian faith. By the cross, we were saved. The cross is the primary symbol of our salvation. Every Christian is marked by it and called to live by it. Whenever we pray or worship, we sign ourselves with the cross. The cross can have many meanings.

Two figures mark the cross: a vertical and a horizontal. Marking ourselves with the sign of the cross is reminding ourselves of the two inseparable dimensions of our faith. The vertical dimension marks our covenant relationship with God. The horizontal dimension marks our covenant relationship with our neighbors.

Today, Jesus highlights the horizontal dimension of the faith when He clearly emphasized that our longing to be reconciled with God must be expressed in a longing to be reconciled with our neighbor. In fact, Jesus makes the latter a requirement for the former. His words could not be any less clear: “If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). Later on, Jesus will turn this teaching into a command.

This is the reason why Jesus designed the forgiveness of sins to be realized through the ministry of priesthood. “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (John 20:23). When we sin, we wound not only our covenant with God. We also wound our covenant with our neighbor. The priest hearing our confession represents the vertical and horizontal dimensions of our faith. As a minister of Christ, we receive God’s forgiveness from the priest. As a human being, we receive the forgiveness of the human community as well.

Let us live our faith to the full. Faith is always personal but it is never private.Fr. Joel Jason     

REFLECTION QUESTION: In what areas of your faith-walk is the social dimension missing or neglected?

Lord Jesus, You are true God and true Man. Let me glorify You always in my covenant with my neighbor. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-27

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THE CHALLENGE – Leave your gift there at the altar, go first be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:24

During Lent, we find ways to sacrifice. Maybe in the form of abstinence. Or maybe fulfilling a ritual or vow. I guess, at the end of the day, we are all called to go beyond our comfort zone.

How about a different challenge this Lent? The challenge is to sacrifice our need to be right all the time so that we can grow our relationships. Here are a few examples to show us how this works:

Your child commits a mistake again. Instead of pointing out the wrong that he did, discover what led to it by listening and understanding.

Your spouse irritates you for the nth time. Instead of criticizing your partner, find out what his or her real intentions are and seek to understand.

Your co-worker messed up again. Instead of pointing out the problem, understand where she’s coming from and help her find a solution.

The basic rule of the challenge? Less pointing. More understanding.Orange Garcia (orange_garcia@hotmail.com)

Pope Francis Says: “The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble.”

Lord, expand my heart and mind with understanding.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-02-19

Reminders on Anger Management       

Tayong lahat ay mga manager, agree ka ba diyan?  Hindi man manager ang position mo sa iyong kumpanya, lahat tayo ay may tungkuling pamahalaan an gating mga sarili. Isa sa mga kailangan nating i-manage ay an gating anger. Anger management, yan ang pag-uusapan natin ngayon.

Ang sabi sa Proverbs 16:32 9NASB), “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”

Ano ang kinakailangan nating gawin kapag tayo ay nagalit, nainis tayo sa isang customer, nagalit tayo sa ating boss, nagalit tayo doon sa ating staff na kay tigas-tigas ng ulo? How should we manage our anger? Let me share with you the ABCs of Anger Management.

Admit that you are not perfect yourself. Nagagalit tayo dahil napakataas ng standards natin pagdating sa ibang tao. Pero sa sarili natin, napaka-gracious and forgiving natin. Cast the first stone kung ikaw ay perfect at hindi nagkakasala. Pero kung hindi ka naman perfect, aba’y matutong pahabain ang iyong pisi para sa ibang tao. Admit that you are not perfect yourself.

Before flaring up, check if you have a contribution to the problem that angers you. Get the log out of your own eye. Yan nga ang paalala sa atin ng Bible. Meron akong kilalang boss na hindi niya mapagalitan and kanyang staff dahil kinikilala niyang may bahagi siya sa ipinakita nitong unacceptable behaviour. Bago tayo magalit dahil sa inefficiency n gating staff, get the log out of our own eye. Baka naman meron din tayong kagagawan kung bakit inefficient ang ating mga tauhan. Before flaring up, check if you have a contribution to the problem that angers you.

Control your emotion and your tone of voice. If you need to vent your heat, do it on something not on someone. Huwag mong ibunton ang galit mo sa tao dahil lalo ka lamang magkakaproblema. Vent your anger on samething. Exercise, do tae-bo o kaya naman mag-treadmill ka. Yung iba naglalagay sila ng dartboard sa kanilang opisina o kaya naman ay meron silang punching bag. Kaya kapag naiinis sila, doon na lamang nila nire-release yong kanilang excess energy o yong kanilang excess emotion. Control your emotion and your tone of voice.

Decide not to sin in your anger. Kapag nagalit tayo, hindi naman automatic na nagkakasala tayo kaagad. It is an emotion. It is valid emotion. The Bible recognizes anger as a legitimate emotion. But it discourages us from sinning in our anger. Magkaiba pala yon. Pwede pala nating makontrol ang galit natin. Hindi tayo dapat manatiling galit. Ang galit dapat ay mayroong hangganan dahil ang galit nakakasira ng relationships. Nakakapagpalabo yan n gating perspective at nakakagulo sa ating  focus. Decide not to sin in your anger.

Learn to Exhale. And the E of anger management is very simple, very practical yet very helpful. Learn to Exhale. Magbuntonghininga ka. Breathe in and breathe out. Hindi lang physical o literal na mag-e-exlahe ka ng iyong buntonghininga o ng iyong galit. You also need to exhale a prayer to God.

What are the ABCs of anger management? A – Admit that you are not perfect yourself. B – Before flaring up check if you have contributed to the problem that angers you. C – Control your emotion and your tone of voice. D – Decide not to sin in your anger. And E – Exhale. Exhale your stress and exhale a prayer to God.

Ayan, bago ka pa magalit ngayong araw na ito, and dami ko ng pabaon sa iyo, ha? Kaya walang excuse para hindi mo ma-manage nang maayos ang galit mo.

Source: Maloi Malibiran Salumbides (Smart Steps for Everyday Workplace Success 2008:24-28).

February 19, 2016

REFLECTION: There is something quite remarkable in the words of Jesus as we hear them in today’s gospel reading. There Jesus imagines a mini-drama going on in someone’s mind—let us call him Shimon. Well, Shimon has decided to bring a young lamb to the temple and there to offer it in thanksgiving for the birth of a healthy son. However, on his way to the temple he suddenly remembers that his neighbor, Dan, gave him the cold shoulder that morning by not reacting to his greetings. Obviously Dan has some grievance against him. What is it? Shimon has no idea. What to do now?

Well, Jesus tells him, forget about the temple offering. What is more important than rituals is the moral life (“do good and avoid evil”). Go first and mend your fences with Dan. Make peace with him first. That is much more important than any liturgical action. Once you made peace with Dan, then you can take care of your offering.

Few Christians understand this. They think that the Mass is more important than relationships. It is not. The love of neighbor will always be more important (and much, much more difficult) than going to church.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3448-february-19-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

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