BY: Fr. Nzekwe Justin.

As human beings, we owe each other mutual love and understanding. We are so connected to each other to the extent that if we refuse to share love among ourselves, we may end up reaping the harvest of hatred in our world. We may think that nothing connects us with others, or that we have more advantage than others, but the experience of the global pandemic a few years back is a reminder of how connected we are as human beings. A virus that originated in a particular country can be suffered by innocent people in a faraway country. And even in our small communities, when we hear that one of us has been infected with Corona Virus, everyone begins to shiver and take safety percussions. We ask questions like: Who is that? Where does he live? I hope he is put in quarantine? These questions are often because we also feel unsafe considering the nature of the virus. But what happens when we stop seeing a regular parishioner on Sunday masses, do we enquire to know why he or she did not come to church? Do we ask to know if the parishioner is in good health? God is asking us today as Christians to love and take more responsibility for others. He commanded the prophet Ezekiel to take Spiritual responsibility of the Israelites. He made him a watchman for the house of Israel, with the condition that he must communicate God’s word to the Israelites, and if the wicked refused to listen they will perish and the prophet saved. But if the prophet refused to preach the word, not only will the wicked perish, but he will answer for their blood. God is also asking you and me to take the spiritual responsibility for people around us like the prophet Ezekiel.

Furthermore, loving others also involve forgiving those who offend us. We should always find a way of uniting with each other regardless of how difficult and stressful it might be. Jesus in the gospel reading of today gives us the principles of reconciliation. Although conflicts are inevitable in our relationships, within our families and communities, but we must learn to manage them as Christians. We must learn to counsel and talk over issues, to see things from the perspective of others and also empathize with others. Christ gives us a three-dimensional principle of reconciliation. First, we must sit down and dialogue one on one, and face to face. Then, seek the mediation of a good friend, and finally, seek the mediation of our community or family. As Christians, how do we resolve our problems today? Do we take note of the three basic steps that Christ gave us or do we resolve it in our own way? We must choose dialogue today as Christ taught us. Dialogue fosters mutual respect for each other, it saves us a lot of energy and time and even cost of law suits. It fosters mutual love and restores relationships. It helps us to discover how related we are as part of God’s family. And through dialogue, we can win more souls to Christ by becoming more aware of the weakness of others and helping others to turn back to God. We pray in this holy mass that the Lord may increase his love in our hearts that we may share the love of God with others who encounters us. Peace be with you!


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