A few years back when we had our reunion, some members of the class we don’t know had a misunderstanding years before, came and reconciled with each other. They hugged in tears and those wonderful moments were captured in camera. It was like a “picture of the reunion” for the school batch.
Reconciling with others sometimes take a long and tedious process. Most of us think that being the offended party, the one who wronged us should be the one to approach us. In the Gospel (Mt. 18: 15-20), Jesus said to his disciples,
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen,take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”
The Lord gave advice to those members of the church community who have problems with others. He is saying that the one who feels offended should be the one to ask for a reconciliation. This sounds contrary to the current norm in society, which is giving the wronged party the chance to feel important.
In his homily this Sunday, Rev. Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB said,
“In the thinking of Jesus, you will not be saved alone, He will save us all together. The Lord is teaching His followers how to live in community with others. In the two chapters before (see Mt. 16: 18), He has already promised to Peter: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church”. Since that time, all of Christ’s teachings are not only about how to be His followers, but also about Church community living in trust and faith in God. Naturally, when we are together, there are times that we hurt each other, we ignore each other, we annoy each other, and offend each other’s feelings. That is part of life being part of the faithful.
Now, who among us here, among those who are watching, have not committed sin? Who among us haven’t committed mistakes? Who is not guilty of pride? Who is not committing bad thoughts? Who is not distant or aloof to others? Who is not engaging in gossip? So Jesus is saying, offenses will happen with the roughness and imperfections of life and will interfere in your faith. This is how you do it: If you have a misunderstanding, don’t spread it, don’t post it in Facebook! Approach your brother in secret. Only the two of you speak to each other. This is how to love.”
In the First Reading (Ez. 33: 7-9), Yahweh God tells the prophet Ezekiel,
“If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ” and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, the wicked shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death.”
Thus, both the First Reading and the Gospel are saying that believers (us) have a duty to correct sinners among us. We will even be held accountable for their souls if we fail to speak out and try to correct them. This is the love that we read in the Second Reading (Rom. 13: 8-10),
“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Let us reflect today, upon any relationship we have that requires healing and forgiveness. Seek to remove our pride and follow this humble process prescribed by Jesus. Let us pray that we be courageous in spirit to follow the will of God in our relationships with others. Let us pray that our love will pour out to our brothers and sisters, that we exert all efforts for them to attain salvation as well.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”(2 Cor. 5: 19)