Imagine sitting at the dinner table when two family members are not speaking to one another. Tension fills everyone at the table and can even make eating difficult. How courageous and risky it is for someone to speak up to resolve the tension. How disruptive it is for the family not to address the tension!
The family sitting at the dinner table is, in our gospel today,the community of the church. Jesus challenges us to deal openly with the ways we willfully or even inadvertently hurt one another lest our unity be permanently weakened. What is at stake is our identity as the Body of Christ, our capacity to pray with one another,and our ability to make decisions based on gospel values.
Facing another about hurts is one of the most difficult “dyings” we undertake- a dying that requires us to risk relationships, let go of self-righteousness, perhaps face angry reactions. From the other side, admitting that we have hurt another takes great humility and honesty. Neither facing another nor facing ourselves is easy!
The good news and strength to be reconcilers comes from Jesus’ promise that he is in the midst of two or three gathered in his name. The challenge is to grow in the consciousness that we and others are the presence of the risen Christ for one another and then act accordingly.