What do you do when others get
grumpy with you? Or speak harshly towards you? Or even start a fight with you?
How do you react when someone insults you or is even downright nasty to you? Do you punish him? Complain about her? Protect yourself the next time?
Try this --- from Jesus: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.”
According to Jesus, if you get hurt, you have the responsibility to set things right.
Why? Because you are the one who is suffering! Because while you’re spending sleepless nights waiting for an apology, that nasty, mean person is sleeping soundly!
They might not even know that they hurt you!
Jesus says don’t wait for the other person to come to you --- you go to them, tell them how they hurt you! Tell them the truth. Tell them what they did was wrong! Go and talk to them directly!
Jesus gives a series of steps to conflict resolution in today’s Gospel that are truly revolutionary. If we would only try them…. Jesus says, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” That’s important. People who hurt each other do not gather together.
Jesus wants us to break down that hostility caused as we hurt one another. Jesus wants us to be reconciled with each other quickly. When we gather in prayer as we do here, when we give someone a 77th chance, when we say, “I’m sorry,” when we reward any little sign of openness on their part with a kindness on our part — Jesus is present. Jesus is with us.
Fr. Mark Zacker