Deep in our hearts, reconciliation calls.
From today’s Scripture: “If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, LORD, who can stand?” (Ps 130: 3)
In today’s Gospel Jesus stresses one of the foundations of his ministry, the need to reconcile with our brothers and sisters. Jesus challenges his listeners, “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” These are words that call us to look deep into our hearts.
I once listened to a missioner to Africa who reached out to many villages to share the stories of Jesus. He said that before they could celebrate the Eucharist, they needed to be reconciled to all in the village. They took this teaching to heart. The priest traveled 3 hours one day by motorcycle to celebrate Mass in the village. When he arrived the chief told him, “We can not have Mass here in the village, we are all not at peace with one another.” The priest returned to his home.
Imagine if on Sunday morning your pastor would announce, No celebration of Mass today, some of you are not reconciled to each other!
Let us pray: Loving Lord, I need your strength to forgive others who have caused pain in my life. Help me to know who I have harmed and to seek their forgiveness. I need your grace to be able to be unburdened with this pain of unforgiveness. I ask this in your name. Amen.
Today’s author is Glenmary Father Vic Subb, pastor of Holy Family and Divine Savior missions in Macon and Clay counties, in Tennessee.
Crucifix photo courtesy Martin Jernberg