Jun 13 (Mt 5:20-26 and Feast of St Anthony of Padua)

Sinbad the Sailor is a fictional character.

>> His tales are mostly voyage stories – fantastic adventure stories through the seas of Africa and South Asia.

One of the tales narrates of how Sinbad and his sailors landed on an island.

On arriving, they saw coconuts, high up on the trees; which could very well quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.

>> But these coconuts were far beyond their reach.

However, they noticed a large number of monkeys on the branches of the trees.

>> Soon enough, Sinbad and his men,  began to throw stones and sticks up at the apes.

This enraged the monkeys and they began to seize the coconuts…

… and hurl them down at the men on the ground.

This was exactly what Sinbad and his men wanted!

They got the monkeys so angry…

… that they gave in to satisfy the needs of those who made them angry!

This is exactly what anger does…

… we play ourselves, into the hands of those who cause us to lose our temper!

We end up “reacting”…

.. than “responding”!

The Gospel of the day is a teaching by Jesus on this very important concern of Christian Life: Anger.

Killing is considered to be a serious evil in every society and every religion.

>> Killing in its basic form is usually considered only in the sense of the physical body.

But the Lord today presents a higher perspective in the understanding of killing…

“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill’; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’.

>> But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judgment….” (Mt 5: 21)

The Lord expands the understanding of killing beyond the physical body…

A person engages in an act of killing… if, by anger…

…the emotional state of the other person is injured

…the spiritual balance of the other person is wounded     

We could understand anger from various perspectives…

1. Anger as Quick temper

Prov 15:18 says, “An ill-tempered man stirs up strife…”

It is said that speak when one is angry, one makes the best speech that would be regretted much!

Quick temper sometimes…

… forms part of our temperament

… comes even unknowingly

… is instigated by other’s actions

Yet, in all this, one ought to…

… rise quickly from remaining in the state of anger.

… become conscious of the occasions which can excite anger

… see that the temper is not fed or nurtured or intensified

2. Anger which leads to stubbornness

Eph 4:26: “…. do not let the sun to set on your anger”

Sometimes, the anger within is allowed to grow so much…

…that we get habituated to getting angry for even tiny and trivial matters

…that we lose our peace of mind, and sometimes even become indifferent

…that we choose not to budge from our position or viewpoint and remain adamant

Yet, we need to make efforts…

… to try to overcome our ego and self mentality and seek to make amends with the person

… to lower oneself in humility (even if we are right) and ease the situation of annoyance

Anger needs to be sanctified…channelled in the proper way!

One may feel a ‘just’ anger at….

… the immense corruption in the world and even in religious circles

… the forces of evil that seem to root away even faint traces of hope

… the indifferent and unchanging attitudes and temperaments of people which is sickening.

Yet… even these ought to get channelled properly

…even these ought to be routed in the right manner

Yes… even our just anger needs to be sanctified and purified in the burning furnace of God’s Love.

>> Anger is indeed a major tendency that is a cause of distress for many of us.

>> Anger is indeed a prime inclination that is a root of sin for many of us.

There are moments, when anger captures us and we throw ourselves into people…

… throw words which are not appropriate

… throw emotions that would cause shame and guilt later

… throw actions and deeds that would cause pain and injury

Let us seek to make genuine, practical and realistic efforts in the fight to sanctify and purify our anger.

Undoubtedly…

… it is painstaking

… it requires deeper attempts

… it requires committed determination!

But the Lord assures His grace to help us and His Love to encourage us!

Let us make efforts to be people, who not simply “react”…

… instead, in patience and gentleness, seek to “respond”!

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Antony of Padua…

… one of the most loved Saints, all over the world.

He is popularly invoked by those who have trouble finding lost objects.

But in own day, he was more popular as the “Hammer of Heretics”…

… due to the powerful witness of his life and preaching.

An account in the life of St Antony tells of an Ordination of some Franciscan and Dominican friars both…

… and the superiors desired that someone be designated to preach.

With no one prepared to speak, St Antony was pressed by the other friars in attendance (both Franciscans and Dominicans) to take on the unprepared task.

He hesitated…

… but was encouraged by the others to speak “whatever the Spirit of God gave him to say.”

Anthony proceeded to preach with great brilliance, to the shock of all those in attendance!

His zeal, oratory skill, and many conversions won him the title “Hammer of Heretics.”

>> His brilliance made him the foremost preacher in his day.

May the Powerful Intercession of the “Hammer of Heretics” – St Antony of Padua…

…. help us to live “the lifestyle of peace and gentleness” which is sometimes “lost” in our world of temper and anger.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “I state absolutely and make no exception, do not be angry at all…

… if that is possible.

>> Do not accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger.”

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