Go First And Be Reconciled

2023년 2월 12일

Go First And Be Reconciled

< Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time >

 Today’s gospel from the Sermon on the Mount contains many so-called “hard sayings” of Jesus. That is to say, it’s all but impossible to carry out some of these. For example, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” Or “If your hand causes you to sin cut it off!” Who can really do this? We must consider why Jesus is commanding us to do the impossible. The biggest opponents of Jesus were the Sadducees and Pharisees, who prided themselves in keeping all of the 613 commandments in the Bible. The problem is, their piety made them proud and their pride made them look down on “sinners.” That is, everyone. So Jesus gives us several commandments that are impossible to follow. Jesus reminds us never forget we are sinners — like everyone else.

But this should not discourage us from trying to live as a Jesus commanded. For me, one of the commandments that challenges me is: “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” When I was a pastor in Masan, this commandment bothered me. A priest in a neighboring parish stopped talking to me, and I didn’t know why. As a result, I could hardly pray or read the Bible. I tried to justify myself saying, “If he thinks I did something wrong, he should come to me.” But my prayer life suffered. When I wanted to pray, that quote kept coming to mind. So I swallowed my pride, got up, went to the neighboring parish and apologized to the pastor if I said or did something to offend him. He gave me a strange look and assured me, there was nothing wrong between us. It was all a misunderstanding on my part. We shook hands and I could feel a weight lifted from my heart. If you have done or said something that has strained your relationship with others, don’t suffer in silence. Go to those you may have offended and be reconciled. The Eucharist demands it and gives you the power to do it