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Hate The Sin Not The Sinner


Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus teaches another ideal in the area of human relationships. It has to do with anger. Though anger is an emotion we have by nature, we are to aim it at things not people, at actions not actors.

We must learn to distinguish the crime from the criminal, the sin from the sinner. Not easy to do. It is so easy to feel holier-than-thou and take our wrath out on alleged sinners as easily as on alleged sins, maybe easier. I say alleged sins because I think some of the overly zealous include more items on their sin list than God does on his.

To some people almost everything pleasurable and enjoyable is a sin. But though a verified sinful act has been truly perpetrated, we are not to condemn the perpetrator, we are never to hate or condemn the sinner. In fact, according to Jesus we had better be very careful where it is we aim our anger.

Everyone who grows angry with his brother,” Jesus declares, “shall be liable to judgment; any man who uses abusive language toward his brother shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and if he holds him in contempt he risks the fires of Gehenna.”

Our anger is to be directed at the thing, at the act, never at the person, not at the actor. Every person is created by God; we are God’s children, precious to him beyond imagining. If any anger is to be directed towards anyone, only God has that right.

Let us be angry at the damage wrongful actions can do, let us try to treat the people who do them as we’d like them to treat us.

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