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It is right to praise you in Zion, O God. — Psalm 65:2
Mass Readings: 1 Kings 18:41-46 / Matthew 5:20-26
When I learn about a physical scuffle between men, I do what many people do: I place all the blame on the ‘‘ attacker,” on the one who “threw the first punch.” But, Jesus seems to be telling us, the one who takes that first blow isn’t necessarily blameless.
When Our Lord teaches “whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gahanna,” He’s also pointing out that, yes, a person acting out of anger is wrong but the one who incited the anger isn’t completely innocent either. That’s why we need to carefully consider our own role in tiffs, squabbles, and long-simmering feuds. Just as our heated words may have started the problem, so too it may take our words of apology to bring it to an end.
Prayer: Jesus, give me the grace to always speak kindly to others.
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