Thursday of the 10th Week of the Year

Matt 5:20-26

Teaching about Anger


The following advice was given by Buddha: “Oh Bikkhus, even this view, which is so pure and so clear, if you clinging to it, if you fondle it, if you treasure it, then you do not understand that the teaching is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over and not for getting hold of.” (Ruhula Walpola, What the Buddha Taught, New York: Grove Press, 1974).

Many a times we mistake the trees for the forest when it comes to our Christian faith. Since we Filipinos are rational by culture, we value people, especially how they relate to us. A peace offering is not peace itself but the expression of our offer of peace.

Our relationship with God is not in our pious devotions or religious practices. They are a means to help us touch base with God. It is no wonder that holy people, like the saints, have something in them that cannot be taken away. They behave like people possessed with something unknown and ineffable that they become strange.

A story is told that when the Korean layman min Kuk-ka (Korea), now a saint, was being tortured and asked to renounce his faith, he said something like this: “I can never deny God, even if I am beaten ten thousand times. If you release me, I will not only continue to believe but also to spread the faith.” 9Fr. Joey Misas, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


In today’s gospel, Jesus leads us deeper into the intent and sense of the law and its external practice. He accepts the Mosaic Law but deepen it. While the law merely forbids killing, Jesus calls our attention to its roots in the human heart where it begins as anger.

Most of us are inclined to stay only on the level of external action without examining its roots within us whether to be the duty to attend Holy Mass on Sundays or to give alms to the needy. Jesus tries to stretch our minds to imagine creative ways to obey God’s will, expressing our love for God, always keeping in mind the image of God, of self and of others that is at the root of our actions.

We would do well to examine our thoughts and actions seriously. Do we make it a practice to review our lives at the end of the day and become aware, for example, of the anger within us that triggered an exchange of sharp hurting words with a co-worker that day? Or the pang of jealousy that was at the root of the gossip we started in the guise of a joke but at the expense of a person whom we envy? Or the questionable motive behind our apparently generous donation of time and service for a good cause? A review of one’s life can also lead to positive discoveries such as interior experiences of the forgiving love of God, a keen awareness of being loved by God, of the amazing, delightful surprises of God’s creation.

Jesus is clear…He challenges us to go beyond our external actions down to their roots in the depth of our being where Love is the Law. (Sr. Clarette, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)


“Whenever two or more people are gathered in His name”…there will be conflict! In a community with individual histories, needs, upbringing and values, there is likely to be a clash of personalities.

Jesus in today’s gospel illustrates the reality of conflict in any community. However, conflict should rather be seen as manifestation of a living and dynamic community, not a static one.

M. Scott Peck, in his book The Road Less Travelled, pointed out that ‘in community, instead of being ignored, denied, hidden or changed, human differences are celebrated as gifts.” What makes our life more beautiful and worth living and what makes our community more dynamic and life-giving is the grace of reconciliation amidst indifferences and conflicts. Reconciliation shifts our focus to God who is rich in mercy and to the person who is endowed with divine dignity. It opens our hearts towards greater understanding, acceptance and empathy. It provides an authentic climate for real sharing and growth in a community. (Frt. Jonathan A. Letada, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


June 9, 2016 Thursday

“Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.”  It is clear from this Gospel passage that the “righteousness” of the Scribes and Pharisees was not enough for them to enter the Kingdom of heaven. It was a righteousness that consisted merely of an external observance of the law or the practice of its minimum requirements. Thus, righteousness from this perspective means that one is observing the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” as long as he/she does not commit murder. Not necessarily, though. It is not enough not to kill as taught by the law. Being angry or even calling somebody “buang” or ‘fool’ is already a sin, says the Gospel.

Let us look for a more reliable standard to help guide us in our quest for God’s kingdom. Let it be the standard of Christ, so that we will never go wrong. For God did not judge or condemn us but offered his life on the cross for the forgiveness of ours sins. In the same way, he wants us to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters by making peace with them, rather than by wishing them ill.

Truly, if there is somebody who has surpassed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, that somebody is none other than Christ himself. Without fear of being wrong, we can look up to Him as our salvific standard of righteousness, to measure and to imitate as God our Father in heaven would like us to do.  As our standard, we can liken Christ and ourselves to a satellite and to an atomic clock, respectively.

As the atomic clock re-calibrates itself and adjusts itself to the exact time of the day or night by satellite, so we, too, need to re-calibrate ourselves every now and then to be in sync with Christ, who is our Universal Standard in which all of life is measured. (Fr. Vicente Uy, SVD HNU, Tagbilaran ,Bohol Bible Diary 2016)


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 heart-hearted. The anger that the Lord refers to in the Gospel is anger that is nourished, anger that is nurtured, anger that is enlarged 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 turn 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.”

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

First is Communication. If there is resentment, if there is ‘sama ng loob” or hurt feelings and if there is resistance in your heart, you must talk. Talk about your feelings with those concerned. Communicate. Build bridges and not walls.

Second is 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 away and the other can give way and people can meet halfway, without compromising morality, without compromising 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.

Third is Contemplation. When we have met halfway, let us look at the same direction and pray Bishop Socrates Villegas, DD, Love Like Jesus, pp. 36-37).


Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time (Year B) – Mateo 5:20-26. Sensitibo ba kita sa pagbati sa ubang tawo? Daghan kanato dali makabantay sa kaugalingong pagbati, apan dili sa pagbati sa laing tawo. Dali kita masuko kon kita ang binuangan, apan sayon lang nato ang pagbinuang sa uban. Gahi kita malimot sa sayop nga nahimo sa tawo kanato, apan dali nato malimtan ang atong nahimong sayop sa uban. Dili kini maayo. Sa ebanghelyo si Jesus miingon: “Inigdala nimo sa imong halad sa Dios… ug didto mahinumdum ka nga nasilo ang imong isigkatawo, biyai ang imong halad atubangan sa halaran, ug pakig-uli una kaniya. Unya balik sa halaran ug ihalad ang imong halad sa Dios.” Kini ang pamaagi ni Jesus sa paghimo kanato nga mas sensitibo sa pagbati sa uban. (fr. Abet Uy)


Thursday, June 9, 2016

THURSDAY OF THE 10TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MATEO 5:20-26. SENSITIBO BA KITA SA PAGBATI SA UBANG TAWO? Daghan kanato makabantay dayon sa kaugalingong pagbati, apan dili sa pagbati sa laing tawo. Dali kita masuko kon kita ang binuangan, apan sayon nato ang pagbinuang sa uban. Dili kini maayo. Si Hesus miingon: “Inigdala nimo sa imong halad sa Dios… ug didto mahinumdum ka nga nasilo ang imong isigkatawo, biyai ang imong halad atubangan sa halaran, ug pakig-uli una kaniya. Unya balik sa halaran ug ihalad ang imong halad sa Dios.” Kini ang pamaagi ni Hesus sa paghimo kanato nga mas sensitibo sa pagbati sa laing tawo. Ang paghunahuna sa pagbati sa uban usa ka ilhanan sa maayong pamatasan. Matod pa ni Emily Post: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Posted by Abet Uy


My Reflection for Thursday June 12, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 5:20-26 – Reflection: What is the cure for anger? It’s humility.

Nobody of us are perfect once in a while we get angry but do we have the humility to make amends after we have injured someone with our hurtful words? Only a humble and gentle person would have the courage to say I’m sorry for what I did. But to say I’m sorry is not easy to do, only a humble person will summon enough courage to say this magic words that have healed so many disputes and arguments.

In our gospel for today, Jesus gives us teaching about anger. Jesus tells us that we must be reconciled with those whom we have differences and have feelings of enmity. But why do we get angry in the first place? We get angry because we lack humility, we get angry because we have this superiority complex against our fellowmen.

It’s only humility that could deescalate and eventually eliminate our anger. Let us therefore pray for the grace of humility, let us ask the God the Holy Spirit to give it to us. The best test of humility is our willingness to apologize and to admit our mistakes before those whom we have hurt.

Do we have the humility to apologize to them? Let us be humble and apologize for it will set us free. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


PUSH: The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” – 1 Kings 18:44

“Hypocrite!” Robert was crushed every time his mom called him this back in college. She’d scold him for coming home late after prayer meetings. She saw him as flawed, so attending prayer meetings was a waste of time.

Robert prayed for her every day. He tried to understand her. After all, she was a battered child and battered still as “the other woman” of Robert’s father. Her painful situation affected how she made decisions, which often led to more hurts.

Years passed. Robert continued to pray for his mom. One day, she agreed to attend The Feast, the prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Family. She was still judgmental towards others but joy was beginning to blossom.

Robert was like Elijah. There was no sign of rain during the drought, yet he kept praying. Elijah’s servant checked many times for any sign of clouds. Finally, “a cloud as small as a man’s hand” was seen. Great things start from small beginnings. Soon the sky darkened and rain poured.

After years of praying, Robert never lost hope. Today, his mom is not just attending prayer gatherings, but she’s serving as well. Carlo Lorenzo (  

Reflection:PUSH. Pray Until Something Happens, even if it takes years.

Jesus, You are the answer. Only you can transform the hearts of many. I put my trust in You.


1ST READING: That Elijah can predict the weather is a sign to Ahab that he is working under the inspiration of God. Unfortunately, we will see that Ahab is not able to see this and he and Elijah have a big falling out. It is important that we are both ready to submit to the guidance of those whom God places in our lives to care for us, and strong enough to stand firm and remain faithful to God’s calling when we know that some people are trying to lead us astray. 1 Kings 18:41-46

GOSPEL: When Jesus says our righteousness must be better than that of the scribes and Pharisees, He means that we need to ensure that we live the Gospel in both deed and word. The scribes and Pharisees were very good at saying what should be done but not so good at actually doing it. The lived example of the Gospel is the most powerful witness we can give on how much God loves His people. Matthew 5:20-26

think:  The lived example of the Gospel is the most powerful witness we can give on how much God loves His people.


THE FRUIT OF ANGER: Jesus does not have much time for those who pay Him lip service, with their hearts far from God. In many of His confrontations with the Pharisees, we see Him constantly challenging their behavior. The Pharisees likewise find Jesus a common nuisance who has no idea how to please God. If only they knew!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses the issue of anger. He goes so far as to say that even if you are just angry with your brother or sister, you have killed them or are in the process of killing them. Anger breeds resentment, bitterness and death. Peter reminds us not to let anger lead us into sin. Anger is a common experience for all of us, manifested in different ways and circumstances. Jesus Himself was angry at times.

I always say that anger can be a good indicator of our lives — where we are at. We discover within us issues that need healing and forgiveness. Like any emotion, anger needs to be brought under control and expressed in the right way. Too many of us do not know how to handle it. We handle it the way we know best, perhaps following the example of our parents or those who have some kind of modeling over our lives.

Jesus teaches us the way of forgiveness. To err is human, to forgive divine — a grace we must pray for. To forgive is to release someone and lose the grip and stronghold we have on another. Forgiveness is a choice that must happen, sometimes repeatedly. The emotions may still play havoc, depending on the hurt and pain, but we choose to forgive from the heart. Easier said than done, yes. If one can talk it out with the other, that is so much better. If not, witnesses may need to mediate for resolution and reconciliation. We pray it often in the Lord’s Prayer. We have experienced it, time and again, in the sacrament of reconciliation, and we are called to forgive one another. The more we ponder on the cross of Christ, the more we will be open to forgive others. Let us pray for the virtues of patience and understanding and the grace to forgive. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: When was the last time you were angry? How did you deal with it?

Lord, give me Your love and grace. That is enough for me. Amen. (Ignatius of Loyola)


Keep Your Words Short and Sweet

June 11, 2015 (readings)

Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle

Father Shawn Aaron, LC

Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.”

Introductory Prayer: Father of love, source of all blessings, you have led me throughout my life, and you lead me still. Thank you for your paternal care. Jesus, Son of God, you died for me on the cross to pay for my sins and manifest your unconditional love for me. Thank you for showing me the way home to the Father. Holy Spirit, sweet guest of the soul, you heal me and strengthen me and set me on fire from the most intimate depths of my soul. Thank you for your loving presence within me.

Petition: Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours.

  1. Anger in Our Hearts:Jesus is speaking here in particular about anger, that is, a desire for revenge or an attitude that simply refuses to forgive. Jesus always brings us back to the human heart. Actions flow from decisions made in the heart, even if not immediately evident. When we cultivate a sentiment in our heart – be it good or evil – it will eventually find ways of coming to fruition. “If you are angry do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger or you will give the devil a chance” (Ephesians 4:26). Any unwillingness to forgive leads to resentment in the heart and ultimately destroys lives and relationships. “What does it mean to forgive, if not to appeal to a good that is greater than any evil?” (Pope Saint John Paul II, Memory and Identity, p. 15).
  2. Insults Are Grave Matters:“Sticks and stones may break my bones…” Each one of us knows firsthand the penetrating power of words. With them one may edify or destroy, enhance or tarnish, heal or wound. It is rather striking that Jesus refers to insults towards “a brother or sister:” in other words, insulting those closest to us, especially those closest to our heart. It is no revelation that those we love the most are also the ones most capable of wounding us deeply, and vice versa. What dagger could ever penetrate more than an unkind word from a loved one? The true revelation is that God takes each word we speak seriously. In fact, he will hold us accountable for them because the words are an outward manifestation of what we have in our hearts. The power of words reveals the weight of words.
  3. Hold No Grudges:“If you remember that your brother or sister has something against you…” This phrase makes us shift a little in our seats. Jesus gives us a tremendous view into God’s heart. God’s very essence is a unity of love – three persons, one nature. We are made in God’s image, and we are made to live forever in union with God. But so too are my brothers and sisters. If we have done anything to wound the union of love with those around us, then we must repair the breach. In fact, it is so important to God (and so important for us) that God will not accept our “offering” if we have consciously wounded the unity with those around us. Bring those particularly difficult relationships to prayer, and draw the strength from God to love as we should. He will not ask for some virtue and then refuse his grace.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, teach me to love and help me to be a saint. You have created me and called me to the Catholic faith. Help me to live that faith generously, living the primacy of love in my daily life. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.

Resolution: Today I will do three hidden acts of charity.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for June 11, 2015


“He himself was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord.” –Acts 11:24

St. Barnabas was extremely fruitful for God’s kingdom. This makes him one of the greatest saints, for we are known by our fruits (Lk 6:44).

St. Barnabas bore fruit in risking his life to accept St. Paul (see Acts 9:27). Paul eventually became an apostle, the writer of many books of the New Testament, and one of the first Christian missionaries in addition to Barnabas.

St. Barnabas bore fruit in forming Antioch, the first missionary church. He had the daring and wisdom to seek out Paul to teach the church of Antioch for a year (see Acts 11:25-26). This church matured to the point that it heard and obeyed the Holy Spirit’s command to send forth the first Christian missionaries (see Acts 13:2).

St. Barnabas bore fruit in John Mark, his cousin. After John Mark quit the first Christian missionary journey, Barnabas argued with Paul to have John Mark reinstated for the second mission (see Acts 15:37ff). Barnabas’ support of John Mark eventually bore fruit when he wrote the second gospel, the gospel according to Mark.

St. Barnabas had a deep influence on the formation of the early Church, the New Testament, and the first missionary outreach of the Church. He is among the most fruitful Christians ever. Hear and obey the Lord as Barnabas did.

PRAYER: Father, may I let You fully work out Your plan for my life.

PROMISE: “The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number of them believed and were converted to the Lord.” –Acts 11:21

PRAISE: St. Barnabas was “filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24).


June 11, 2015

Thursday of the 10th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Feast of St Barnabas, Apostle

“Freely you have received, freely give”

On the Feast of St. Barnabas, the Church today is inviting her children to rededicate themselves to radiate the light of the Gospel to the poor and oppressed brethren of this world. Setting up the “Dos and Don’ts” of the evangelizer, Jesus was very clear of his commission. This was an invitation to set oneself free to make others free. Now what makes one slave, frightened, anxious etc is our material wealth. See the poor beggars and rag pickers on the street. They enjoy every bit of their lives.

The command of the Lord assures us safe place of stay and preaching but the uncertainty of the schedule is a matter of concern for us here. Still the call and commission and the ever vibrant anointment are the decisive factors in this mission. The world is going after RBM (Result-based Monitoring) in the corporate management and the same is applied in the developmental social work projects to measure the impacts. But here the command is to go and preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

  • Commission to evangelize is a call to total freedom, freedom from all clutches of this world.
  • This is a call to freedom of expression which even the nations fail to promote today.
  • No want will disturb the ‘commissioned’ if he/she abides by the task.
  • Material needs are supposed to be not a care for the commissioned, everything shall be taken care of; you preach the Gospel.
  • The proclamation is integral; it is for the total well being of the peoples.
  • The freedom of not having heavy loads makes one relaxed to trust in the Providence.
  • You are commissioned to go within your original fittings, so spare of any sort entertained.

Now the choice is ours. Are we ready take up the task of becoming Gospel for the other? The way is challenging and cross will be our reward. Now assuring all these things our Lord is poking us to rededicate ourselves for the cause of gospel. Let’s say Amen to his commission and be his ambassadors. Fr Biju Tharaniyil CMI


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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