There I Am

forgivenessHow many parents haven’t heard the cry. “Mom, make Paul stop hitting me!” Or how many families are torn apart by members not speaking to one another? It seems as though where there are human beings, there are differences. Where there are differences,there are conflicts. Where there are conflicts, there is either destructive contention or healing reconciliation.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus acknowledges inevitable conflicts arising among those living in the community of the church! Rifts in relationships between members of the church are actually rifts in the relationship with Jesus himself. This is why church conflicts cannot be ignored. Too much is at stake: our relationship with Jesus, upon which rests our relationships with each other.
The last line of today’s Gospel gives us a clue as to what underlying motivation is really the strongest for seeking reconciliation among ourselves. Our strongest motivation urging us to heal conflicts and safeguard te unity is our common identity of being the Body of Christ. We ourselves are not the reconcilers; it is the power of Christ acting through his Body. Lasting reconciliation demands an openness to Christ, which is to say, each other.