One morning I went to celebrate Mass, and one of the parishioners came in the sacristy to help set up. In our general conversations, as people would have, I asked him “where do you live?” Interesting he danced around the question. So I asked him again, "where do you live?" He looked at me with a tear in his eyes and said, "I do not have a home." I was heartbroken. This man has crossed my path several times and I didn’t care enough to know anything about him. Sometimes, I had scolded him for the things he didn’t get right and would even try to ignore him when I saw him but I never paid enough attention to, or sought to understand, the deeper experiences that formed him. Perhaps, that would have given me a window into the unique challenges that influenced his actions.
After Mass I went back to the rectory, settled at my desk, and thought about the hardship that many people around us go through.I began to reflect, what can I do? And so I prayed for the strength to respond to the needs of others courageously. Then the the words of Mahatma Gandhi came to me, to “live simply so that others may simply live”.
How often we roll up our windows when beggars approach our cars, or steer in a different direction when we see someone suffering from drug addiction. On few occasions when we try to help, we throw money at them without looking into their faces.
The world needs more love, more understanding, more generosity. The world needs more people to genuinely ask “How are you?”. The world needs more people to look into the faces of the poor and the beggars and remind them with a smile that they are human. The world needs more light. In this season as we approach Advent and Christmas, may each of us be that light.
Violence, racism, injustice, poverty, murder - doesn't it make you angry? All sin, including our own, should.
Isn’t it interesting that our Lord who is perfection personified anger!
Here, we must be careful not to equate His anger with our normal everyday experiences of anger. We can describe His anger as righteous anger, which is redemptive, not destructive.
The Prophet Isaiah said: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:7). What is our attitude towards the house of God? When we talk of the house of God it begins from the spiritual temple of our bodies to the physical edifice that houses us during worship, called a Church.
Christ expressed great displeasure at the evil actions people were involved in especially in in the temple, but that is because He desired their repentance. Many who were there may have been very shocked at His actions, we too can be shocked when reading it, but it righteous anger motivates to make change.
Dear friends, we ought to be angered by sin because it is capable of destroying us. However, we must be careful that we don’t use this example of Jesus to justify losing control of ourselves and entering into the deadly sin of anger. Righteous anger, as Jesus expresses today, will always leave one with a sense of peace and love for those who are rebuked, like a parent correcting a child.
So much was sacrificed to get the Church of Christ to where it is today. What have you and I done for the Church? If we treat our bodies as spiritual temples and the Church reverently, prayers will be answered and wonders will be experienced.