Our Lady of Grace Church
15825 Bexar St. La Coste, TX 78039

Message from our Pastor

It dawns on me that today’s Gospel consists of two parts.

The first part records Jesus’ teaching on Christian tolerance, given after he had observed the angry response of two of his apostles, James and John, who wanted to bring down fire from Heaven to destroy the Samaritans, who had refused to receive Jesus as a prophet.
The second part describes three potential disciples who offered lame reasons that made Jesus’ call to ministry “impossible” for them to accept. It is an interesting theme to reflect upon but I will keep it for the next preaching.
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But He turned and rebuked them. Jesus gave His disciples a lesson on anger management.
Whatever it is, anger is one of the most common emotions that we have in our lives. Anger is a feeling that makes the mouth work faster than the mind, and when we speak when we are angry, then we will make a speech that we will eventually regret, and that others won’t forget.
The fact is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing but it can destroy everything. And that was why Jesus rebuked his angry disciples. Jesus wanted to free them from that anger and introduced them to a Christian life of patient love: Our “bearing with” one another.
Quick anger over little incidents flares up all the time – between parents and children, in the workplaces between co-workers and in the neighborhood between neighbors. Very often the anger explodes over nothing and ends up destroying everything.
A story goes that a man bought a fish and asked his wife to cook it while he went to watch a movie. The wife wanted to go to the movies too, but the man told her to cook the fish so that when he comes back from the movie, he could eat it. Also, he would watch the movie and tell her the story when he returned.
So the man went to watch the movie alone. When he came back, he asked his wife for the fish. The wife said that she had eaten it. She added: “Well, you can sit down and tell me how the movie went, and I will tell you how the fish tasted.”
We can imagine how the conversation went on from there. Though it is just a story, we can imagine the urge to call down fire to burn up the other party.
As the 2nd reading teaches us: ‘Serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And it continues: “But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.”
Yes, a disagreement can lead to destruction. But acceptance can bring about reconciliation. And when we accept the call of Jesus to follow Him in His way of love and tolerance, then the emotions that will be on our faces will be peace and joy.

Blessings, Fr. Leo

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