A tease of warmth reminds us that spring has come, at least meteorologically speaking. March is a month of madness and of passion. Madness includes the fever of sport from the colleges to the high schools and here in Minnesota the famed tournament snowstorms. We end this month with Palm Sunday, and we will actively enter into the passion of our savior Jesus Christ. We continue our Lenten Journey with an account of the cleaning of the temple. Everyone gets angry, even Jesus got angry. Anger is bound to happen as we interact with one another. Today Jesus models for us righteous anger in the Gospel, not all anger is sinful. His anger stirs as he sees the temple a place of prayer and communion with God being turned into a marketplace. Jesus approaches the vendors and moneychangers and chases them out of the temple. Justified anger stirs in those who see human life being disrespected whether in the womb or in the streets. This anger generates such responses as those causes that seek to end abortion, discrimination, poverty, or hunger. How to avoid sinful anger. Give yourself a timeout – count to ten, go for jog or walk, listen to your favorite music. If you feel like shouting or calling someone names, do it where no one else can hear. Most importantly, work at resolving the issue you have with another. This is hard work and requires prayer. Last week at the St. Francis Xavier School Mass, in addressing anger, I shared this anonymous Angry Prayer.
(includes actions) God we do get angry.
Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
Sometimes we get so angry that our fists ball up.
We get so angry that we want to stomp our feet.
Stomp your feet.
We get so angry our arms and face and whole body shakes.
Shake all over.
We just want to scream.
Scream! PAUSE O Lord,
Be with us when we get that angry.
Reach out your clinched fists, palms up
Gently uncurl our fists, loosen our arms, and relax our faces.
Slowly uncurl your fists and shake your arms loose.
Help us think of ways to fix what is wrong.
Thoughtfully scratch your head.
Be with us as we try to make things better.
Open hands out palms up and look up
We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Fold your hands in prayer Continued blessings on your Lenten Journey.