Much of the teaching of Jesus centers on reconciliation and unity. The early Christian community looked to the teachings of Jesus as guidelines for how they would live together, especially important when they no longer observed Jewish regulations or the Jewish sabbath. How were they to order their lives? What should be their priorities and their practices?
In Matthew chapter 18 Jesus presents the community with a model for achieving reconciliation when one member has sinned against another. His intent is to confront the offender in a loving way, not intending to punish, but to reconcile the individuals involved.
It’s in this context that Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). I find it interesting that this statement, which is often invoked to describe the efficacy of community prayer, is situated in the context of reconciliation. In effect, it’s saying that Christ is present when we work for reconciliation and forgiveness.
If this teaching applies to relationships between individuals, should it not also apply to societal issues where groups are sinned against–issues of discrimination, racism, denied-rights, sexism, inhumane treatment, etc.? When we work for reconciliation and justice, Christ is with us.
(My photography this week doesn’t have a connection with the theme, but it’s a way for me to show some recent images, as I continue to work within the limitations imposed by the pandemic and my desire to stay healthy. I hope you also do what you have to do to remain healthy.)