From the Hermitage
Good morning. Today's gospel is so appropriate for our times. Especially in our parish of St. Matthias where today the all the students gather for a Mass. It is the final day of school for the current academic year. Being the oldest of six children, I will speak to the students about anger which might be one of the strongest faults in the lives of young people as well as in our own culture. Anger seems to be a notable characteristic of our times. Just read the news papers, watch the TV news, listen to talk radio: anger is everywhere.
This morning, in Rome, Pope Francis spoke about anger to those with him for his morning Mass and prayer. What we know from our awareness of the scriptures is that God wants us to love one another. Surely it is not always easy. Nonetheless God made clear that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor ... all of those beyond God and ourselves.
The Holy Father spoke of three criteria to help us love one another. First, a criterion of sane realism. If there is something against another person, the Pope points out, "look for a compromise." Wouldn't that make the life we experience in our society so much better? From Capitol Hill to the rage that takes over in so many situations today there is an abundance of situations were rage rules. Pope Francis pointed out that rage is rooted in hatred. It is to "kill another person" in a different way. Jesus reminds us that "The one who calls his brother stupid is killing his brother, because the act is rooted in hate." He continued with an exhortation: If you do not hate, you would not literally murder someone. If so, then do not insult another. This is the second criterion: a coherence. Do not kill, do not insult. Third criterion is that of "fraternity rooted in sonship." If we would not kill another person, literally murder another, it is because that person is a brother or sister to all of us created by our Father. Remember we have the same Father in heaven. Francis said "Do not talk to the Father if you are not at peace with your brother -- if you do not have at least a compromise agreement. "One cannot talk to the Father if one cannot even speak to one's brother -- and this means overcoming the holier-than-thou attitude of the scribes and the Pharisees."
Closing Pope Francis said, "This program is not easy, is it? Thought, it is the way that Jesus tells us to keep going. Let us ask Him for the grace to move forward in peace among ourselves, with compromises, and always with coherence and in a spirit of fraternity rooted in sonship."
Oremus pro invicem!