To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, September 20, 2018 click HERE
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - Does love lead to forgiveness or is the ability to love the result of being forgiven?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 15:1-11; Lk 7:36-50
This is a fairly well known story from the Gospel of Luke. However, it is important to note that though the woman is termed as a “sinner”, she is not named.
The dinner given by the Pharisee would have been much more public than a dinner in a private home today, so the presence of uninvited persons would not have been unusual. The guests would have been reclining on pillows, supported by their left arms and would be eating with their right hands, with their feet away from the mat on which the food would have been spread before them. Thus the woman could easily approach Jesus’ feet.
The fact that she brought a jar of ointment shows that she had planned to anoint Jesus – a sign of her love. Though the woman’s act expresses love and gratitude, it also violated social conventions. Touching or caressing a man’s feet could have sexual overtones, as did letting down her hair, as a woman never let down her hair in public. Moreover the woman was known to be a sinner. Assuming that she was unclean, she would have made Jesus unclean by touching him.
In the Pharisee’s eyes the woman’s act represents a challenge both to his honour and to Jesus'.
In response, Jesus poses a riddle for Simon to solve, based on patron-client relationships. If a patron had two debtors, one who owed him much and the other who owed him little and he cancelled the debts of both, who would love him more? After Simon answers that it would be the one who had the greater debt cancelled, Jesus exposes the contrast between Simon’s lack of hospitality and the woman’s selfless adoration of Jesus.
The main point of the story is Jesus’ pronouncement in 7:47. Did the woman love because her sins were forgiven or was she forgiven because she loved much? The woman’s loving act is evidence that she has been forgiven. She recognised her need for forgiveness and therefore received it totally, whereas the Pharisee did not recognise his need and therefore received less.
This story seems to make two points that we can reflect on. The first is our judgement of others without knowing all the facts. Some of us are sometimes quick to judge from external appearances, only to realise later that we misjudged. The second point is the acceptance of our need for God’s mercy and love. Like the Pharisee, there may be some of us who do not consider ourselves as grave sinners and consequently we may not be open to God’s unconditional love and grace.
Thursday, September 20, 2018 -1 Cor 15:1-11; Lk 7:36-50
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
To hear the Audio Reflections of Wednesday, September 19, 2018 click HERE
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - Will you dance to the tune of the Lord or are you dancing your own dance?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 12:31 – 13:13; Lk 7:31-35
The point of these sayings of Jesus is to bring out the failure of the crowd to respond to the invitation of John and Jesus. Though John and Jesus are different from each other and went about their ministries differently, the people accepted neither. John lived a very austere life and indulged in no excesses at all, but he was not accepted. Rather he was labelled as a wild man. Jesus on the hand lived quite openly and freely due to this was labelled as a glutton and drunkard.
Many of us are so concerned about what people say about us that we sometimes live our lives based on their opinions. The text of today teaches us that you cannot please everybody every time. There are some who will neither join in the dance nor in the mourning, but sit on the fence and criticise. It is best to leave these alone and do what one believes one ought to do.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 1 Cor 12:31 – 13:13; Lk 7:31-35
Monday, 17 September 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - If God were to call you to himself now, what are the three things you would regret not having done? Will you do them today?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 12:12-14,27-31; Lk 7:11-17
The miracle of the raising the widow’s son at Nain is a miracle that is found only in the Gospel of Luke.
If the centurion’s servant healed in 7:1-10 was ill and at the point of death, the son of the widow in this story is already dead.
There are many similarities between this story and that of Elijah’s raising the widow’s son in 1 Kings 17:10,17-24. Luke emphasises that the son was the widow’s “only son” (7:12). Luke also states that when Jesus saw the widow, he had compassion for her. Jesus raises the boy quite simply with an authoritative command.
The crowd responds by regarding Jesus as a prophet and by affirming that God has been favourable to his people through the deed that Jesus had just done.
The scripture offers many instances where men and women of faith ask for help, and are granted it, even though under normal experiences they might have gone on for the rest of their lives with sin or weakness or sickness or oppression. Does prayer change anything? Again and again the scripture teaches that it does indeed. God can and does intervene in the normal running of his universe.
We see just such an instance in this passage. The young man is dead -- his life cut short by sickness perhaps, but death is a "normal" experience in our fallen world. Then Jesus sees a mother's tears, realizes that this widow -- there is no husband and other children mourning beside her -- has lost her only son, and moved with compassion, he intervenes.
God doesn't intervene every time we are hurting or have problems, just as loving parents do not or cannot intervene to soften everything for their children. Sometimes we are angry with God for not giving us the answer to prayer that we desire. Sometimes we blame him for not intervening when our loved ones are sick or die. But it is not because God lacks compassion, for Jesus shows us the Father, and Jesus is full of compassion.
We are left with the fact that Jesus indicates that the Father will do things as a result of our prayers, because of his compassion, that he will not otherwise do. Prayer can appeal to the heart of God to bring about change.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 1 Cor 12:12-14,27-31; Lk 7:11-17
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Monday, September 17, 2018 - Will you keep on keeping on today; even when things might not go the way you plan?
To read the texts click on the texts: 1 Cor 11:17-26,33; Lk 7:1-10
In the story of today’s Gospel, we will read of a centurion’s response of faith in Jesus. The emphasis in the miracle is given to the power of Jesus’ word.
There is a close parallel to this story in Matthew and a more distant parallel in John. In Matthew, the servant is “lying paralysed at home”, whereas in Luke, the “slave is at the point of death”. While in Matthew, it is the centurion himself who comes to make the request of Jesus, in Luke; he sends first a delegation of elders who would have been leaders of the synagogue. They vouch for the merit of his request. As Jesus starts for the centurion’s house, a second delegation is sent. This time it is the friends of the centurion. The centurion’s words, “I am not worthy” contrast sharply with the tribute paid to him by the Jewish elders, who testified, “He is worthy”. The effect is to place the centurion in an even better light. The centurion’s words may also convey that he was aware that the Pharisees’ regarded a Gentile’s house as unclean and that a Jew would be defiled by entering his home. He is also confident that Jesus could heal at a distance. Just as he acts by commanding his subordinates, he expects no more than that Jesus would do the same.
The point of the story is Jesus’ affirmation of the centurion’s faith and not the report of the healing that concludes the story. Luke’s description communicates Jesus’ surprise at the Gentile’s faith, and his approval as well. Where Jesus would have expected to find faith in an Israelite, here he finds it in a Gentile.
There are times when after having tried all available means to solve a problem that we might be facing, we might be tempted to throw up our hands in despair and simply give up. The centurion’s faith is an inspiration to everyone of us that we need to keep on keeping on despite all evidence to the contrary.
Monday, September 17, 2018 - 1 Cor 11:17-26,33; Lk 7:1-10
Saturday, 15 September 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Twenty Fourth Sunday of the Year - Jesus - The Glorious Messiah who suffered
To read the texts click on the texts: Is 50:5-9a;Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35
“Praise the Lord! Father, my son has been healed from his cancer. Brother Peter laid his hands on him and prayed and the cancer was gone.” These were the words spoken to me by the mother of a young boy who was stricken with cancer. A month later, the cancer came back stronger than before and before long, the young boy was called to eternity.
Many interpreters of Mark’s Gospel consider the Confession of Peter as the watershed of Mark’s Gospel. This confession is the first part of the Gospel text of today. In a sense, this is true because, everything up to this point in the Gospel seems to lead to this confession and it is from this confession that the rest of the Gospel flows. However, even as Peter confesses Jesus as Christ, he is not fully aware of what he is really saying and Jesus has to both correct and enhance his understanding through the words that he speaks after the confession.
The reason why Jesus asks the disciples the two questions about his identity is not because he was facing any sort of identity crisis, but because he wanted to ascertain whether the people, and his disciples, really understood who he was. Where one would have expected immediate praise from Jesus after Peter’s confession, there is the surprising command to the disciples to tell no one about it. This might even seem strange. However, deeper reading shows that this is not as strange as it seems.
In the first part of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus commands both demons and some of those whom he has healed to silence after the exorcism and cures. He does not want them to reveal his identity. The main reason for this seems to be that he did not want to be understood, primarily, as a miracle or wonder worker. Here, too, he commands Peter and the disciples to silence because it is clear that, though the correct confession has been made with the lips, it is not a confession that has come from understanding, That there is lack of understanding is evident in Peter’s rebuke of Jesus after Jesus challenges him, and the disciples, to realize that, as Son of Man, he must suffer, die, and be raised. This means that the title of Messiah, for Jesus, is a title that can only be correct when in the same breath one speaks of him as the Suffering Servant of God. While, for Peter, the title “Messiah” excluded suffering, for Jesus there could be no “Messiah” without the cross and vindication after it
This image of the Suffering servant is brought out in the first reading of today, which contains the third of the fourth servant songs found in Isaiah. In this song, the focus and elaboration is very clearly to exhort those who listen to it. They, who have witnessed the servant’s activity and suffering, are called to follow in his footsteps rather than go their own way of selfishness and self-interest. The servant, very clearly, will follow God’s will no matter how difficult it may be. God has taught him, prepared him, and will continue to help him. God will not abandon him. God has faithfully responded to the servant in his situation of distress, In fact, it is in the context of God’s attending to the servant that affliction arises and yet, is borne without complaint or resistance to bearing additional afflictions. The servant is helped by God precisely in his ability to bear assaults. God is the source of strength more than of merited justice, and God will, in time, vindicate his servant. No one is able to declare the servant guilty, yet, despite his not being guilty; he will suffer in silence and will suffer courageously.
We are living in a culture in which suffering is seen as a negative and thus, something to be avoided at all costs ad to be gotten rid of as soon as possible. This is not to say that suffering is good and desirable or that God delights in human suffering. As a matter of fact, in the second reading of today, James is emphatic that a faith that does not show itself in deeds is a faith that is dead. Only such a faith is truly alive that manifests itself in action. It has to be a faith that results in making the pain and suffering of a fellow human being less, and lighter to bear.
The Gospels, too, explicate that Jesus reaches out to people in their need and redeems them from their suffering. When he sends his disciples out on Mission, it is not merely to preach but also to heal and make whole. Yet, we must also keep in mind that suffering is part of the human condition and the fact that we are human means that we will suffer. The call of the readings of today is not a call to run away from suffering or regard it in any way as punishment from God. The call is to face up to it squarely in the manner in which Jesus did. While we continue to believe in the miracles of Jesus, and in the fact that Jesus can work miracles even today, we must balance this understanding by realizing that there is also, in Jesus, the cross. The challenge is to make God’s will for us, our own.
Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Is 50:5-9a; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35
Friday, 14 September 2018
To read the texts click on the texts:Heb 5:7-9; Jn 19:25-27; Lk 2:33-35
The title, “Our Lady of Sorrows,” given to our Blessed Mother, focuses on her intense suffering and grief during the passion and death of our Lord. Traditionally, this suffering was not limited to the passion and death event; rather, it comprised “the seven dolours” or “seven sorrows” of Mary, which were foretold by the Simeon who proclaimed to Mary, “This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare” (Luke 2:34-35).
These seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother included the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt; the loss and finding of the child Jesus in the Temple; Mary's meeting of Jesus on His way to Calvary; Mary's standing at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified; her holding of Jesus when He was taken down from the cross; and then our Lord's burial. In all, the prophesy of Simeon that a sword would pierce our Blessed Mother's heart was fulfilled in these events. For this reason, Mary is sometimes depicted with her heart exposed and with seven swords piercing it. More importantly, each new suffering was received with the courage, love, and trust that echoed her fiat, “let it be done unto me according to Thy word,” first uttered at the Annunciation.
The readings chosen for the feast are from Hebrews and a choice of either John or Luke. All three readings speak about how Jesus and Mary handled suffering in their lives and how we can learn from them.
The text from Hebrews speaks about the total humanity of Jesus to make abundantly clear that the suffering that Jesus went through was an integral part of his earthly life. Though he was challenged with accepting the Cross and though he prayed that the Cross be taken away, what was more important than that was ‘doing God’s will’. This led to acceptance of the Cross willingly and courageously.
The Gospel text from Luke is Simeon’s second oracle and addressed specifically to Mary. It prefigures the rejection of Jesus. Not all will receive the salvation that has been prepared, see the light of revelation, or recognize the glory of God in the coming of Jesus. The sword that will pierce Mary’s heart refers to the rejection of her son and to the final rejection on the Cross. Mary’s response is courageous, because she knows like Jesus that God’s will for her son is infinitely better than anything she could hope for.
The scene in the Gospel of John is where four women are named standing by the Cross (his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene). Of these the focus falls on Mary, the mother of Jesus and the beloved disciple who is given charge of the mother of Jesus. While the beloved disciple is indeed a historical figure, he/she can also be anyone who loves Jesus. The command of the Lord to such a disciple, who loves him, is that he/she must also take his mother into their home because she is an integral part of the family of Jesus.
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is relevant for each of us today. It shows first of all that though Jesus and Mary were constantly doing God’s will, they were not spared from the Cross and the challenges and vicissitudes of life. Second it shows that even in the midst of these challenges we must always remember that God walks ahead of us and will never abandon us. This is why we never give up or give in. Finally, it reminds us that sorrow and the Cross is never the end, but only a step towards resurrection and the fullness of life.
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - Our Lady of Sorrows - Heb 5:7-9; Jn 19:25-27; Lk 2:33-35
Thursday, 13 September 2018
To hear the Audio Reflections of Friday, September 14, 2018 the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross click HERE
To read the texts click on the texts: Num 21:4-9;Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
The Exaltation of the Cross is one of the twelve great feasts in the yearly Church cycle. Because the cross is at the heart and center of all that we as Christians believe, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the triumph of the cross of Christ over the power of sin and death. The feast usually occurs on a week day. But when it falls on a Sunday as it does this year, it takes precedence over the ordinary Sunday liturgy. And so this feast provides us with another opportunity to reflect on the central mystery of our faith: that the one who was lifted up on the cross in crucifixion has triumphed over the power of sin and death because God highly exalted him.
This feast commemorates two historical events: first, the finding of what was considered the Cross of Christ in the year 326 by the mother of Constantine the Great, St Helen, and second its recovery from Persia in 628.
A story is told of Emperor Heraclius who in the year 628 after making peace with the Persians carried what was considered the Cross on which Jesus hung back to
on his shoulders. He was clothed with costly garments and with ornaments of
precious stones. But at the entrance to Jerusalem
a strange incident occurred. Try as hard as he would, he could not go forward.
Zacharias, the Bishop of Jerusalem, then said to the astonished monarch:
"Consider, O Emperor, that with these triumphal ornaments you are far from
resembling Jesus carrying His Cross." The Emperor then put on a penitential
garb and continued the journey and carried the Cross into the Mt. Calvary
where it was triumphantly exalted. It was then resolved that the Fest of the
Triumph or Exaltation of the Cross be celebrated by the Church in all parts of the
world. Church of Holy Wisdom
The Cross -- because of what it represents -- is the most potent and universal symbol of the Christian faith. It is a constant reminder -- and witness -- of Christ's ultimate triumph, His victory over sin and death through His suffering and dying on the Cross. The cross, once a tool of death, has become a means to life, an instrument of our salvation; it gives strength to resist temptation, it gives hope to seek new life and it dispels fear and darkness.
As Christians, we exalt the Cross of Christ as the instrument of our salvation. Adoration of the Cross is, thus, adoration of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became Man, who suffered and died on the Cross for our redemption from sin and death. The cross represents the One Sacrifice by which Jesus, obedient even unto death, accomplished our salvation. The cross is a symbolic summary of the Passion, Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
In the first reading of today we read of how Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in order to heal and bring wholeness to a broken people. This was God’s way of showing the people that He was primarily a God who wanted to save and redeem and not condemn and destroy. The Church and especially the evangelist John interpreted this lifting of the bronze serpent by Moses as a foreshadowing of the salvation through Jesus when He was lifted up on the Cross. The Triumph of the Cross is the Triumph of Jesus Christ whose love for us and obedience to his Father climaxed with his death on the cross. The deeper meaning of the Cross is presented in The Christological hymn in today's second reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians. Jesus emptied himself completely, not just becoming a human being but accepting the worst public death of the society he lived in to demonstrate the extent of the love of God for us. He died making a willing statement of love, filling the world with the love he had for his Father and his Father had for him. We are saved from the horrors of evil, from meaningless lives due to the love of the Lord. Because Jesus died on a cross for us we are able to proclaim to the world: Jesus is Lord. His love made this possible. When we venerate and adore the cross we are saying: Jesus is Lord of our lives.
To the world this act of surrender on the cross was an act of utter humiliation and subjugation and the height of folly. To the world this death on the cross was a wasted life. To the world this death on the cross was a sign of utter defeat. But what the world calls wisdom, God calls foolishness, and what the world calls strength God call weakness. Therefore God highly exalted the crucified one by raising him from the dead. God gave Jesus his own name so that every creature on earth must now call Jesus “Lord.” What human beings did, God contradicted. And so in the weakness and foolishness of the cross we see the wisdom and power of God: Christ crucified. In him and his cross, surrender becomes power, waste becomes gain and death and defeat become victory and new life.
The cross is at the center of our lives every time we face sickness and death. The cross is at the center of our lives in frailty and old age. The cross is at the center of our lives every time we feel utterly alone and abandoned. The Cross is at the centre of our lives every time we are tempted to give in and give up. It is at the centre of our lives every time we are tempted to throw our hands up in despair. It keeps reminding us that only when we embrace the cross in the midst of suffering and abandonment can we understand the power of the resurrection. Only when we have the courage to keep on keeping on can we like Christ become victorious and conquer. Only when we embrace the cross is it possible for God to raise us up and give us new life.
Friday, September 14, 2018 - The Exaltation of the Cross- Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - How often have you done something for someone else without any expectation whatever? Will you do something like this today?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 8:1-7,11-13; Lk 6:27-38
After pronouncing the beatitudes and woes, the Lucan Jesus goes on to speak of love of enemies. The disciples are called to be actors rather than reactors. They are to love their enemies and bless and pray for those who are against them.
How this is to be done practically is then illustrated. Disciples are to offer no resistance to the violent and are to be generous in their giving expecting nothing in return.
The Golden rule is stated positively here and by placing it in this context, Luke probably intends that this is how the disciples must respond to those who are against them.
Our relationships generally are based on barter exchange. If someone does good to me then I will be good to that person in turn. However, the Lucan Jesus calls his disciples to go beyond and to build relationships based on unconditional love.
The last two verses of this section deal with not judging and not condemning. These are followed by two positive prescriptions to forgive and give freely without measure.
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 1 Cor 8:1-7,11-13; Lk 6:27-38
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
To hear the Audio Reflections of Wednesday, September 12, 2018 click HERE
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - When did you last say a positive word to someone? Will you speak a positive word to at least one person today?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 7:25-31; Lk 6:20-26
The Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke is packed into one chapter of 30 verses unlike that of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, which extends over three chapters totalling 109 verses.
Unlike in Matthew’s, “Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5:1 – 7:29) where Jesus pronounces only Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12), in Luke’s, “Sermon on the Plain”, for each of the four beatitudes there is a corresponding woe. Also unlike Matthew, Luke speaks in the second person and not the third person, which has the effect of making the pronouncements more direct, more personal.
The first beatitude is addressed to the poor (not “the poor in spirit” Mt 5:3). This is indeed a scandalous statement because it overturns all conventional expectations and pronounces a blessing on those who are marginalized. They are promised the kingdom of God by being released from their marginalisation and oppression. It brings to light that God is making an option for the poor.
The next two beatitudes concern hunger and mourning and could be addressed to the same group. The poor because they are poor are also hungry and weep. They are promised an end of their hunger in the promise that they will be filled and an end to their weeping and mourning in the promise that they will laugh.
The fourth and final beatitude in Luke speaks about the disciple who will be hated, excluded, reviled and defamed. These are called to rejoice in their being reviled and promised a reward in heaven. They are also given as consolation the example of those who went through similar trails before them.
Corresponding to each beatitude, Luke has a woe. The first woe is addressed to the rich who have received their consolation already and so can expect nothing more. Those who have had their fill now and told that they will go hungry and those who laugh now will weep. Those of whom people speak well are compared to the false prophets.
When we look at the injustice, disharmony and poverty around us it is not easy to believe that our God is a God who cares for the poor. Yes, this God became poor in history to show us the way and how we are to live. If we can be a little less selfish, work in our own situations toward harmony and give a little something to someone else, we will be bringing God and his word to them.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 1 Cor 7:25-31; Lk 6:20-26
Monday, 10 September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - Will you collaborate with Christ in bringing about the kingdom today? How?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 6:1-11; Lk 6:12-19
By placing the appointment of the Twelve immediately after the controversies with the Pharisees (6:1-11) and the dramatic distinction between old and new (5:36-39), Luke presents the appointment of the Twelve as the constitution of a new nucleus for the people of God, perhaps in deliberate succession to the twelve tribes of Israel. The conflicts between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees have already shown that they represent the old and that, therefore, they are no more fit for leadership in the kingdom than old wineskins for new wine.
Luke makes special mention of the personal prayer of Jesus at all the important events in his life, and so Luke portrays Jesus as praying before his baptism, before his temptation, after a hard days work of preaching, teaching and healing and just before his choice of the Twelve. Jesus knows that even though humans will be weak and fail, even though they will deny and betray him again and again, he would still want them to collaborate with him in bringing about the kingdom.
The choice of the Twelve is a text that offers each of us a lot of hope and consolation. This is because we are aware of what Jesus could accomplish even with such a motley band of men. Since he did so much with and through them, he can do the same with and through us.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 1 Cor 6:1-11; Lk 6:12-19
Sunday, 9 September 2018
Monday, September 10, 2018 - How often have you made rules and regulations more important in your life than love?
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Cor 5:1-8; Lk 6:6-11
This is the second Sabbath controversy story in the Gospel of Luke. Already at the beginning we are told that the day is a Sabbath and that Jesus goes to the synagogue to teach. In this context, his teaching is not only in words but also in deeds by means of a situation from life.
Only Luke of all the three evangelists tells us that it was the man’s right hand that was withered. This was the hand normally used for work, gesturing and greeting. The man would have had to do all of the above with the left hand, which ordinarily was not to be used in public. The scribes and Pharisees are also introduced into the scene, so that there are four parties: Jesus, the man with the crippled hand, the scribes and Pharisees and those who were in the synagogue. While the crippled man sees Jesus as a potential healer, the scribes and Pharisees pose an obstacle to the healing. Jesus makes a public example of the man. All will see what he is about to do. Before the healing, Jesus asks a question, which poses two sets of antitheses: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it.
Sabbath observance is defined positively, not in terms of what one will do, but in terms of what one must do. The question brings out the dichotomy that existed in their own lives, because though they would not want a man to be healed from his illness on that holy day, they would have no qualms about discussing the “best way to deal with Jesus” on that same holy day. They preferred the law to life and love.
We might tend after reading this story to condemn the Pharisees and scribes. However, we too often behave as they did. We might attend a Eucharistic celebration and wish everyone in the church the peace of Christ, eat the same bread and yet come out of the church continuing to keep feelings of resentment and anger against our neighbours in our hearts.