24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME A
PROFITING FROM ANGER
Some people thrive in anger; they enjoy it; they love it.
What I mean is that some people cling to their anger because they think it makes them powerful.
When you are angry, it can make others afraid of you! You become the boss. Raise your voice, throw tantrums, sound off threats! It will shake the wits out of your enemies.
When you are angry, you can get what you want. Because others are now afraid of you, then they will be more likely to give in to your demands. You made me angry, so give me more money! You made me angry, so do this or that to appease my anger!
When you are angry, you look strong. They will think of you as unpredictable and they will not try to cross your path. Who wants to be caught up in the path of your rage?
That is why there are people who like being angry. They project an angry image. Powerful, demanding, unpredictable!
What really happens to angry people? to those who want to hold grudges in their heart? To those who do not want to look weak when they forgive and forget?
They may think they become the boss of others. But actually, these others start not fearing them, but hating them. Anger begets anger. Fear turns into repugnance and detestation.
They may think that they can dictate what they want from people. In the beginning, others will comply but in the end, they will see that your angry attitude is a ploy and they will not give you anything for it. It is the attitude of immaturity and people do not appreciate immature adults.
They may think they are formidable, strong and powerful. In reality, they are very weak. Holding on to anger is like locking up oneself in a self-made prison. Unfree from bad experiences. Unfree from the past. Unfree from the influence of their enemies or of those who hurt them.
Angry people are people who are sad; people who are afraid of letting go; people are badly hurting and wounded. They know it but they don’t want to admit it. They are pathetic.
Listen to the words of Sirach (27-28) in our first reading… read it slowly… let it sink in your heart…
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
The Lord Jesus teaches us to forgive in the Gospel today (Mt 18). It is the only way to find peace, joy, understanding and healing.
When will you forgive?