25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 2:12, 17-20; Jas 3:16 – 4:3; Mk 9:30-37
“Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?”
James’ question from this Sunday’s second reading is a good one for us to reflect upon. What are the causes of anger and strife in our life – both outside of ourselves and within ourselves? in what situations do we find ourselves provoked to anger ? What are the grudges and raw wounds that we carry around which cause us to lash out at every real or imagined slight?
What comes to mind for me right now is my behavior on the road. I have a whole array of facial expressions, gestures and colorful expressions that I mix and match and offer to any driver who would dare beep his/her horn at me or commit what I consider to be a driving infraction. It doesn’t have to be something dramatic; simply hearing the beep of a horn because the other driver has decided I am not moving according to the rate of speed he has determined to be best (already I feel my blood begin to boil…..) is enough to transform mild mannered Jim into the Incredible Hulk.
Where exactly is that anger coming from? OK, sometimes it’s motivated by fear that the other driver’s dangerous action could cause a serious accident. But how about the time I flashed my lights at the perosn who wasn’t entering the highway fast enough? It’s hard to get into an accident when you’re not moving.
This is really hitting me now that my daughter is learning to drive and I see how impatient other drivers can be with her. I wonder how many times my exasperation at a driver who seemed not at all sure of what to do with his/her care was directed at a new driver like my daughter?
For this week, reflect upon your own “hot button moments”. What is really going on there? Where do the wars amd where do the conflicts among you come from?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)