A reading for Wednesday, February 3, 2016: Matthew 26:6-13.

Very often it is a lack of understanding that causes us to be angry...

The disciples are angry with Jesus because they don't understand what Jesus is doing and who Jesus really is. They fail to identify what the woman with the ointment is doing for Jesus. "By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial." Would they have dared to be angry if they had understood that as what she was doing?

Anger is a real problem in our American culture. Many have noticed that we are perhaps the angriest society in the world. We are divided over all sorts of things, from government to religion, sexuality to immigration, and we often express our division in anger. There are protests, name calling, and people who in their anger refuse even to talk to one another. Some of our candidates for President are capitalizing on our anger and using it for their own popularity. Are you angry?

However, how often are we angry without having all the facts? Have we taken the time to hear the other side? Are we willing to listen to another person, not to convince them that we are right, but to be convinced that perhaps there is another side to the issue? It takes humility and openness not to be angry and that seems to be harder and harder to come by.

Truth is it's far easier just to be angry. To cut people off. To refuse to change our minds. We are right and they are wrong. But like the disciples, don't you wonder sometimes if you would still be angry if you had really understood the other point of view?


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