Sunday, March 11, 2012

Genesis 37 — "Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long tunic. When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him." Resentment can exert a powerful and unrelenting grip on us. The word itself is revealing: it literally means to "re-feel" (in Latin, re+sentire). When I resent, I feel anew the emotions of a past hurt, and research into neuroscience tells us what we already know: not only my memories but my emotions are reinforced every time I re-feel that hurt. Contrast this with the promise of God, to give us a new heart and a new mind.
What's the antidote to resentment? If I can't bring myself to forgive and move on, I can ask Jesus to enter my heart and mind, showing me how He would forgive. If I replay Jesus' forgiveness in my mind as much as I would have thought of the painful memory in my own way, I am quite literally allowing God to reformulate the neuronal connections that make up that memory, allowing God to give me a new way of remembering that event. Resentment – re-feeling or replaying the hurt – gives way to a new way of looking at the same events and people, through the eyes and with the heart of Jesus.
March 9, 2012
Msgr. William J. King

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