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Do Not Be Angry with Your Neighbor
“Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance” (Sirach 28:7). Here, once again, we see the consistent wisdom of God being expressed. This wisdom appears throughout the scriptures, and is expressed in living form in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This wisdom is rooted in the practical. It has everything to do with how we are to think of, and behave toward others on a daily basis. It is the way of righteousness. How do we come to know it? How do we live it? We come to know the way of righteousness first by knowing, meditating on, and practicing the Ten Commandments, the Law of God. In them we see the structure of the Two Great Commandments, for the first four of the commandments are related to the love of God and the last six have to do with love of neighbor. This is the way of righteousness that we all must reflect on and pray over throughout our whole lives. In developing the habit of doing this on a regular basis, we are able to see where we are doing well and where we need to improve. There is only one good reason to do this. In learning and practicing the Law of God, we enter the way of righteousness and we find true happiness, even, paradoxically, in the midst of suffering. The second clause of today’s verse has to do with anger toward our neighbor. One of our greatest struggles is to learn how control the negative feelings that we often have toward our neighbors. And we are to remember that our “neighbor” is “Everyman,” not just those who live next door. This is often where our effort to become righteous…