better, not bitter
"See to it that...no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled." —Hebrews 12:15
From the context of the above Scripture, bitterness does not keep to itself. It spreads to many and can defile those whom it infects. Bitterness seems to be like the plagues of the Middle Ages, which wiped out "many" (see Heb 12:15). The author of Hebrews exhorts us to "see to it" that no bitter root springs up. How can we "see to it" that no bitter root springs up?
First, we look to ourselves. Even the faintest trace of bitterness in ourselves must be immediately uprooted. We are called to be better, not bitter. For example, Mary of Bethany chose the "better" portion (Lk 10:42) by sitting at Jesus' feet to listen to His words. Daily listening to Jesus takes discipline, yet this discipline "brings forth the fruit of peace and justice to those who are trained in its school" (Heb 12:11). Bring any bitterness to Jesus. He is able to uproot bitterness if you simply ask.
Next, we look for bitter roots in others. We are to "see to it" that no bitter root springs up, yet what action can we take when we see bitterness in another? "There is no limit to" the power of our acts of love and mercy and our persistent intercession (1 Cor 13:7). God will use them to chip away at a bitter heart.
Prayer: Father, I renounce all roots and acts of bitterness in my life. Set me free to bring Your heart-melting love to a bitter, angry world.
Promise: "The Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." Ps 103:13
Praise: St. Paul Miki and his companions prayed for those who tortured and killed them.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018
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