Wednesday, June 14, 2017

“Go, Be Reconciled First” by Beth DeCristofaro

Angel of Grief  (c) All Rights Reserved by Conn
(Jesus said) 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 5:21-24)

“Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.”
And let them begin with me, Lord Jesus.
        (adapted from Psalm 85:11)

Need I say, we are an angry nation. People seem to have forgotten how to disagree and be respectful. The yesterday’s news was chilling. Again. Jesus knows our hearts. He teaches that violent actions stem from internal violence, sin, which begins with each person. My irritation and rage, my judgmental attitudes, perhaps my fear is the beginning.

“Killery” was thrown at a recent politician. A campaign bulletin board asserting “make America white again” was erected along a Southern roadway. Protests – a constitutional privilege - seem to turn violent quickly no matter who or what is being protested. Women in the online gaming world are routinely bullied by their cyber male competitors. 53 “mass” shootings (more than 5 people killed) occurred in the last 18 months here in the US of A.

Although that isn’t the whole story, it seems as if Jesus’ words warn of what we see in the USA. Hateful, disrespectful and angry speech has led to hurtful, at times lethal behavior. Jesus preached that the thought preceding the action is as sinful as the action. Jesus further preached that there is an antidote. Be reconciled. It takes a courageous person to make the step. Cursillistas “who don’t pay attention to human opinion” can be the bold spark firing up reconciliation. Cursillistas can model being one with Christ and bring Christ to those who disrespect, who speak or act in anger. Jesus is concerned with me, with you, with my neighbor even if I do not like her/him and with our souls.

It befits me and each of us to be aware. Sometimes anger comes out of fear such as the anger recently shown to refugees fleeing more evil, hatred, and danger than I will ever know firsthand in my entire lifetime. Heightened self-awareness allows me to stop any anger-inspired speech or action before they burst forth.

We who choose to “Be a Friend”, “Bring a Friend” to Christ can Be Love. One way to become more aware of what moves us to speak and act can be found in an intriguing and fascinating Implicit Association Test (IAT). This test “measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, … your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science.” 

Implicit attitudes are often unconscious and through awareness, we can begin to choose our actions with more freedom, with more loving consciousness than before. We can more fully “Be a Friend” to Christ and to others. Find the IAT at

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