Appleton, WI

Homily Connect Mar 7: Anger & Forgiveness

“There is good anger and there is bad anger!”

Scripture John 4:5-42

Once Upon a Time-On a Mountain

  • A couple climbed a mountain and met a woman
  • They were invited to sit down and ask her a question
  • They asked about the meaning of life – she told them
  • They asked for her recipe for holiness – no problem
  • They asked her about the secrets of the universe – no problem
  • They asked her about their anger toward each other – problem
  • She broke her pencil stomped off to her cave and said….
  • Her punchline….

Gospel – Are We Shocked?

  • Jesus is angry – but it is a good angry
  • We’ve heard him during his ministry
  • ”You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you?
  • Scolding Peter: “Get behind me Satan!”
  • Cursing the fig tree because Jesus is hungry for figs –  the tree dies

Good Anger – Confronting the Money Changers

  • Flailing a rope – Jesus overturns the table – gold and silver everywhere
  • Jesus is really passionate and  really angry
  • Our Jesus is not bland or boring

Righteous Anger – Based in Loving Care

  • For those who are being unjustly treated
  • Terrible exchange rate for Emperor coins to Temple coins
  • Poor people were being ripped off – The Lord was livid

Notice – No Anger when Jesus was Target

  • Jesus was silent during the torture of Roman soldiers
  • They spat, struck, and placed a crown of thorns on his head
  • No anger

On the Cross

  • No persecution – only forgiveness
  • Jesus had every right to be angry
  • Jesus is a better person than me

Our Bad Anger

  • Spouts expletives at another person is traffic
  • Curses an swears at someone for the slightest oversight
  • Seethes up in us like a cancer or tea kettle about to explode
  • Might overwhelm or scare us

Anger is a Feeling – Good or Bad – Our Choice

A Book

  • Letting Go of Anger: The 10 Most Common Anger Styles and What to Do About Them
  • Ten Styles: avoidance, sneaky, moral habitual, addictive, shameful, paranoid, sudden and hateful
  • There is a survey at the front of the book that helps you determine yours

Know This!

  • Anger is normal
  • I can be angry
  • I am a good person even when angry
  • I can use my anger well

Is it OK to Be Angry with the Lord?

  • Our prayer needs to be real
  • Our expression of anger, talking it through with the Lord/others that begins the healing process – we begin to let go
  • Underneath anger is hurt – my anger says I don’t want to admit my hurt

Anger is Messenger We Must Not Ignore

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • What did you think of Jesus’ reaction in the Temple?
  • What is your anger style? What might your bad anger look like?
  • What does righteous anger look like for you? Examples?

Live Connected

  • This Lent, think of ways you can offer forgiveness instead of anger. Also, consider ways to use your good anger well in the future. Execute both when the opportunity arrives.