Is there a center that can hold?
"Speak the truth in love," and "see that none of you repays evil for evil," exhorts St. Paul. Which is easier said than done.
Matthew invites us into a whole variety of experiences this Sunday. Verses 10 through 20, considered optional, center around a conflict about tradition and authority followed by a parable about the truth of the actions of the heart. This is followed by healings and feedings. The next chapter begins with more conflict.
Change sets off a burst of emotional energy. In working with congregations, I'm occasionally surprised by the vehemence or the source of the emotionality, but never by its presence.