By Fr Jim Cogley

There was a lot of legitimate anger around in Jesus day; anger at the Roman occupation, anger at poverty and injustice, anger at a corrupt religious system. Jesus expressed his own anger at the latter when he overturned the money changers tables in the Temple. Still he rebuked his disciples for anger directed towards revenge. Wanting to pass through a Samaritan town they rejected Jesus and his disciples James and John were furious and wanted to bring down fire from heaven to burn them up. In that kind of anger there is always judgment that excludes love. In speaking or acting with anger the message is immediately lost and all that is heard is the anger. To speak the truth in love is the ideal whereas to love to speak the truth out of annoyance is counter productive. Later in Acts of the Apostles we see that James became an apostle to the Samaritans. We can only surmise at the transformation he underwent in order to preach a message of pure love.