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How do you express your strong emotions?

In this week's gospel we hear Jesus expressing some very strong emotions. When you read the gospel story, what are the emotions you hear Jesus expressing? Frustration? Anger? Exasperation? Disappointment? Sadness? At the beginning of the reading, it appears that he is feeling anger towards Herod, or at least those telling him to flee Herod's territory, and responds by referring to Herod as a "fox" and telling those gathered to go tell Herod that he won't change his plans just because Herod threatens violence.

While at first glance Jesus might come across as angry at the end of the story as well, it seems like he, more than feeling angry at Jerusalem, is feeling sad, or disappointed, even hopeless thinking about how prophet after prophet has come to bring change to his beloved community and time and again they have not listened. Here you can almost hear Jesus' voice soften as he describes his deep desire to gather his community under his wing like a hen gathers her chicks, in a soft, loving, protective embrace. Yet, Jesus knows that no such embrace will occur, and his words carry the melancholy of that reality with them.

Jesus never seemed to be shy about expressing his emotions in his interactions with his community, family, and friends. This week, pay attention to the times when strong emotions are arising within you, and how you choose to express those emotions, even if that choice is to not express them at all. What does it feel like in your body to have these feelings? What does it feel like to express them? Who are the people you feel most emotionally expressive toward, and why? Take some time today to share your thoughts with your group, and make sure to check in about your experience of expressing emotion the next time you gather.

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