Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
While easy to gloss over, this section of Matthew lays out the six antitheses of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12) that we heard about on Monday. These six look at murder, adultery, divorce, true speech, retaliation and love of enemies provides contrasts to the Beatitudes. It is here we find Jesus rewording the previous Jewish laws regarding these topics.
Today’s passage focuses on anger and its connection with murder. Few people commit murder outright, so Jesus wants to extend the commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) further by directing His readers to look at the root of murder, anger. Unless one’s anger is acknowledged and repented from, one can sit and allow this anger to completely consume him or herself until he or she has “paid the last penny.” The sooner one heads off this problem; the sooner, one can be reconciled with other people and can present their gift on the altar (Matthew 5:24). Each person gets angry, it is part of the human condition. Try to take some time today to be mindful of when these emotions, if left unchecked, can lead to violating the commandment.