Wrath, Anger, & Vengeance
Our first reading today comes from the book of Sirach, also called the book of Ecclesiasticus (Church Book). The first lines tell us: “wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. The vengeful will suffer the Lord’s vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.” Our tradition affirms that vengeance belongs to the Lord and is not the individual’s right (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35). Our part is to forgive one who wrongs us, so that in turn God will forgive our sins. These words from Sirach clearly anticipate Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness (see today’s gospel). Wrath, anger and vengeance are qualities we should detest yet so often we “hug them tight.” As sinners who do find it difficult to forgive, we need the grace and strength of the Lord. Only through Jesus, with Him and in Him can we ever be the type of believers we are called to be. Lord Jesus, help us be more like you. Amen.
P.S. Today please pray for all the victims of 9/11 and their families as we remember this sad day in history. Today is a perfect opportunity to pray for an end to terrorism and all violence. Let us not respond with wrath and vengeance but pray for true conversion to Godly principles.