Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Reconcile with Your Sister and Brother

By Beth DeCristofaro

Elijah said, “Go and say to Ahab, ‘Harness up and leave the mountain before the
Mosiac at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Darien, IL
by Plamen Petrov 
rain stops you.’” In a trice, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and a heavy rain fell. Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel. But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab as far as the approaches to Jezreel.
(1 Kings 18:44-46)

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:22-24)

O God, from whom all good things come,
Grant that we, who call on you in our need,
May at your prompting discern what is right,
And by your guidance do it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit
One God forever and ever.
        (Collect from the Mass for the Day)

God works pretty hard through the hands, eyes, mouth and faith of his mouthpieces.  In 1 Kings we see Elijah, God’s agent, contributing to a miracle in which God reclaimed Israel by testing and besting the pagan god Baal who the Chosen people had begun to worship.  God dramatically shows them that God, alone, is the source of life and way to life.

Jesus opens us to small miracles which, in faith with Him, opens us up to God and clears our heart of idolatry of anger, vengeance, etc. He magnifies the Law by showing that our anger can be violent even if killing is never realized or intended.  He also gives us the opportunity to experience the grace of reconciliation when we renounce anger and turn back to him, in love, to our brother or sister.  Yes, it is as hard work for us to effect this small miracle as it was for Elijah to participate in God’s grand gesture of bringing rain to the desert.

Is it only a coincidence that modern psychology parallels Jesus’ description of someone consumed with anger as experiencing the “fires of Gehenna”?  Today we recognize that our emotions, neutral in themselves, can be damaging to our own minds and bodies if left unattended and out of control.  And how many of us have found ourselves estranged from someone because of unkind words or unjust expectations?  Jesus, as part of a Triune God, hopes for us the same kind of healing, abundantly loving relationships as He experiences with the Father and the Spirit.  Tender your hand in reunion to someone today and surpass the idol of out-of-control human emotions. 

No comments: