Thursday, June 13, 2013

God and Man

Usually when we think of that phrase our minds go immediately to Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Today's gospel reminds us of the moral implication of that reality. If we believe that Jesus is true God, and true man, the we cannot separate our love of God from our love of our fellow men and women. We cannot show proper reverence for God, if we do not show proper reverence for the divinity of every man and woman, even the ones we don't like.

Today's gospel if we look carefully is written from a very interesting perspective. It's actually the opposite of what we think.

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.

Note: it does not say, "and there recall you have something against you brother" as if you are the offended party. The text say "your brother has something against you". In this senario you have said or done something that has offended or hurt someone, and they are still holding it against you. This gospel puts the onus on you go and at least try and reconcile.

Suppose the slight was unintentional or only perceived? Again the text does not say, if on the way to the altar you remember that you have injured someone. It say you "recall that your brother holds anything against you." Even if we have unintentionally offended, the responsibility is ours to take the first step toward reconciliation. Accidentally inflicted pain still hurts, a requires a genuine apology.

NB. A genuine apology never contains the word "if."(eg. I'm sorry if you were offended, or worse yet, I'm sorry if you misunderstood me.) The safest move is the simple apology, I'm sorry.

Will we always be successful? No, but if we make the sincere effort, then we have done what is ours to do and we can with clear heart go and offer our gift to God.