Today’s Gospel reading offers us Jesus’ admonition on what we used to call “fraternal correction.” If we sense that someone has offended us, we are to go, one-on-one, with that person and share our concerns. If that person does not listen, we are advised to take a few friends along to speak to the offender. If that doesn’t resolve the concern, we are told to take it to the whole Church for reconciliation.
In our deeply polarized society and Church, the action for far too many is immediate retaliation with violence. Gun violence is now an epidemic in our country. The other standard option is to call a local or national radio or TV station to air our grievances. Of course, these two options lead to anger, alienation, and deeper divisions. There is very little chance of reconciliation.
Today we recall the ministry and example of Roger Schutz, stabbed to death by a deranged woman on August 16, 2005, during evening prayer at Taizé. After the tumultuous years of World War II, Roger founded an ecumenical community in Taizé, France. Rather than talk about reconciliation, the Taizé Community lived the message of reconciliation among Christians fractured by the war. It became a place of spiritual refuge for thousands of young people who came to seek prayer and renewal. They brought the spirit of Taizé back to their homes throughout the world.
We make the Eucharist as we gather as a community to celebrate the Risen Lord present in our midst. The Eucharist makes us Church – the Lord feeds us with his Word and Sacrament to become Church. Thus fed, we are charged to go out to the world as Eucharist.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, while you walked the earth, you proclaimed the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom would bring all the earth back to our original grace, absolute unity with God and all creation. Help me to be that reconciliation, that Original Grace, in my corner of the world. Amen.