As the older brother of three sisters, I know what it’s like to be angry with a sibling. My closest sister is only twenty months younger, and we were raised nearly as twins. We had similar levels of responsibility, learned how to tie our shoes at the same time, and shared everything—including use of a car.
Sometimes, we would feud over who would be able to visit our friends a couple towns over. Many times our fights would end with Mom handing down a final ruling, alternating between myself and my sister. No matter what the result, though, it was out of our hands—Mom always made the final call. That all changed when we both went to college. It became our responsibility to work out how to share the car, not Mom’s. It was difficult because we had to actively compromise instead of obeying a neutral authority. We had to learn to work towards agreement, each taking on sacrifice in turn.
In this passage, Jesus reminds us that we are the ones responsible for maintaining right relationships. Instead of relying on an outsider to adjudicate, we must work with others to make our relationships whole. Especially during Lent, Jesus encourages us to ask: With whom am I angry? With whom do I need to reconcile? When we reflect on these questions, we will find that we innately know which relationships have an outstanding debt that we need to resolve. Once we discover which relationships are unbalanced, we must take the next step of improving them ourselves.
This season, let us accept the responsibility to focus on these relationships and work to build the Kingdom of God.
Michael Wajda ‘15
Comment or share here.