3rd Sun Lent
Reflection is an essential element of our growth in Christ. As we reflect over what we have learnt and ponder it in our hearts, we come to recognise the presence of God in our lives.
This Sunday's Reflection
Jesus gets angry! Boy, does he get angry! He even gets physically angry and his physical lashing out is premeditated. Note it took him time to make that whip out of cords and he knew what he was doing. Are you uncomfortable with that? Why? Because we nearly all have issues with anger and the people who don’t have issues are usually people who often get angry with no sense of remorse. We so much focus on the Jesus who goes to his death ‘like a trusting lamb’ that we fail to take seriously the times when Jesus gets angry. This time in the temple is not the only one. He gets angry with Peter, with the disciples and, oh, so often, with the religious authorities who were critical of him. In these situations Jesus isn’t mildly displeased – he is genuinely angry.
So what is happening? In all the cases of Jesus’ anger he is trying to break through to people set in their ways: Peter with his ideas on how Jesus should be Messiah, the disciples, jockeying for the best places, the people in the temple, smug in using the worship of God for monetary gain. Nice reasonable discussion is not going to work with these people – they need the hot fire of anger to crack open their rigid shell. Jesus’ behaviour offers us an insight into the use of anger. When he thought people could be changed, he would use anger to try and get through to them. When he knew they were set and closed, as with the religious authorities at his trial, he remained silent.