Wednesday 21st January – Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Reflection: Mark 3:1-6
SLOW TO ANGER
Beloved, the mercy of God is the reason we are all alive today. As the Scripture says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end” (Lamentations 3:22). Today’s passage presents us with a very dramatic event. Jesus encountered a man with a paralyzed hand in the synagogue on a Sabbath day. Some persons were waiting to accuse Him of healing the sick on the Sabbath; but Jesus put forward a pertinent question to them: “What does our Law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To help or to harm? To save someone’s life or to destroy it?” Their inability to respond made Jesus angry at them; yet, ‘He felt sorry for them because they were so stubborn and wrong.’ (Mark.3:4-5).
We have a lot to learn from this story. One important lesson here is that we must realize that when people offend us, they often do it out of ignorance. Hence our anger over what they have done should lead us to compassion for them. When people offend us repeatedly, instead of getting angry all the time we should rather exert compassion. This is indeed the lifestyle we are called to as the children of God. God our Father Himself is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. (Psalm 103:8). Jesus was indeed provoked by their merciless attitude in today’s passage, but mercy had its way.
Let us therefore ask God our Father to grant us a heart that is devoid of unnecessary offences and anger. Anger can lead one to act out of order. But mercy can channel the anger towards love for the offender. This is the grace we must ask of God today. The grace to be merciful and slow to anger.
PRAYER: Pray for a child-like heart, that neither harbours grudges nor is easily offended.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2447: “The works of mercy are charitable actions in which we come to the aid of our neighbour in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.”
HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord is merciful and loving, slow to become angry and full of constant love.” Psalm 103:8. GNB
Readings for Today: Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17; Psalm 110:1-4; Mark 3:1-6