The maintaining of good relationships with those around us in our communities can be a very taxing experience. Peace and cooperation within our interpersonal relationships is very important, as without this our community life will be virtually unbearable. I am sure that each of us will have had the experience at one time or another in our lives of being in conflict with someone close to us. Such a conflict becomes very wearing upon one’s nerves and must ultimately be resolved if the relationship is to go ahead in a healthy manner.

The danger of such conflicts is that we can be left in a situation where resentment, jealousy or some other sin governs the day rather than the peace and cooperation. It is easy to see how such a relationship, particularly if leaders in our community are involved, is going to destroy the fabric of the community. We must be committed to do doing everything necessary to preserve the bond of true brotherhood and sisterhood upon which all healthy communities are built. Jesus exhorts his disciples to ensure that no rancour or division is allowed to fester and grow in their midst.

Christian charity not only demands that we seek to be reconciled with one another but also that we should take the initiative to ensure that this happens even if it means we have to swallow a little pride to do so. There will be times when the other party does not want to respond to your overtures of peace. In this case it is of paramount importance that you leave the offer of reconciliation on the table so to speak and do not withdraw it out of offence or for any other reason. Reconciliation must be the highest priority as far as we are concerned!

When seeking reconciliation with another person it is important not to approach them from a self-righteous point of view. We cannot know what the inner workings of their heart may be and for all we know we may have misinterpreted their actions. When coming to the table to reconcile we should come with open and forgiving hearts ready to see any wrong we may have committed and to repent and similarly to forgive any wrong that has been done to us. This is the example Jesus has taught us and it is the same one that He used when reconciling us with His Father! Let us show our worthiness to receive that forgiveness by being just as willing to extend the same sort of forgiveness to others.

Do I carry any unforgiveness in my heart? If there is any let us make a decision here and now to deal with it in a decisive manner according to Gospel principles.

Holy Spirit, it is sometimes difficult to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to draw upon the experience of God’s forgiveness of my sins in trying to find the strength to forgive those who have sinned against me.