My lens to the divine often focuses scripture in a way that is relevant to what I am experiencing on the day that I read it. Today, as I sit in my office at NYU Abu Dhabi, waiting for students to come for counseling sessions, I see this Gospel, filled with very human emotions. Jesus curses the fig tree, turns tables at the temple, and frets about forgiveness.
So much emotion is coming from Jesus. We see anger, “may no one eat fruit from you again,” and “you have turned a house of prayer into a den of robbers.” We trust our faith, “If you have faith in God and say to this mountain, throw yourself into the sea, it will.” And perhaps some fear and anxiety, “You better forgive your brother or sister before you pray to God, or you might not receive God’s forgiveness.”
I see this range of emotions with students. Whether it is grief over a broken relationship, test-taking anxiety, thoughts of killing themselves, or fear of leaving the security of parents for the uncertainty of adulthood.
Let us take time today to examine our emotions. Ask ourselves if we use anger to destroy or to change? Do we have trust in faith to see us through? Can we forgive one another? Let us focus our emotions today on loving one another, and through it feel the love of God. Amen.