Anger that Is Just and Constructive as Jesus’

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus brings in the kingdom of God and his justice.  So, his anger blazes as he sees us looking out for just our own interests, not caring about those who are poor.

A leper comes to Jesus, kneels down and begs him: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” The account goes on to say that Jesus is moved with pity. But there are those who use “anger” in place of “pity.”

Of course, it seems to us more right to think that pity fits Jesus better than anger. After all, the gospels show that he is a friend of the excluded, like the lepers. He is a friend, most of all, of sinners, harlots and those no one like. He is like his Father who welcomes the “unclean.”

Yet at times anger, to be firm, fits Jesus well. There is no doubt that he is merciful and gentle. But anger matches the stern warning he gives to the leper he has healed. He also shows anger as Mary weeps and when he gets to Lazarus’ tomb.

The why of Jesus’ anger

Yes, he is gentle and firm at the same time (SV.EN VII:241). But his being firm, which shows up as anger, has to do with his being gentle and merciful. That is to say, he gets angry at leprosy and death. For he cannot bear to see the leper stay on the outskirts as though a waste that one throws away. Nor can he bear Lazarus’ death for the havoc it wreaks.

But it may be that Jesus’ anger is due to the people and the leper disappointing him. For he who preaches the Good News of the kingdom sees what they like. The people and the leper seek the signs of the kingdom more than the kingdom itself. They look just for their own healing and good. The kingdom of God is not what they seek, nor is it the change in the way they think and act that the kingdom asks for (Comentarios al evangelio 4 y 6). Hence, yes, Jesus’ anger.

And how about us? Is our anger but a passion for justice? Are we not of those who want miracles and prodigious signs more than a word of truth? And we should look into ourselves to see if all we seek is our own good. To see if, so long as we have enough to eat, we bother about no other thing (SV.EN XII:81). And if we have to change our ways, then it is good that Lent is upon us.

Lord Jesus, give us the anger that will make us react with strength and in a creative way in the face of the needs of those who are poor in our day (TWVDP 61), and willing, too, to give up our bodies and shed our blood for them. 

11 February 2024
6th Sunday in O. T. (B)
Lev 13, 1-2. 44-46; 1 Cor 10, 31 – 11, 1; Mk 1, 40-45