We can easily turn a blind eye to injustice; we believe an action is wrong but leave the problem to others to sort out. Much in life seems to suggest that evil has defeated good. Confronting others may well prove costly, but at times it is a necessary discipline.
Jesus urges us to take time to look at ourselves. He offers practical advice for us to address conflict in our Christian life: “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.” He outlines three more stages to deal with the problem if meeting one-on-one doesn’t work: (2) Meet with one or two witnesses. (3) Meet with church leaders. (4) Walk away. Conflict resolution sometimes requires outside help. Grace permits us to ask God to speak according to our need, that God may direct our actions and words.
Open-mindedness doesn’t mean that we must accept everything. When we have to deal with the realities of life, we may find ourselves amenable to reconsidering our opinions. What- ever the conflict, however dark life may seem, God has promised that light will ultimately break through. Faith reminds us that from the darkness of Calvary dawned the day of Resurrection—light that can never be extinguished.
We all discover this message for ourselves. Putting our faith into practice wherever we find ourselves is the test of commitment. The light of Christ shines through us. As the prophet Micah puts it, we are called to “do justice, . . . love kindness, . . . walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8).

What might open up to you if you choose to go one way rather than another?

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 18:15-20

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Lectionary Week
September 4–10, 2017
Scripture Overview

Exodus 12 provides instructions for keeping the Passover. Yahweh defends those who seek Yahweh’s shelter. In the end, the people stand liberated from all false loyalties and allegiances, and vow allegiance to Yahweh alone. Psalm 149 sounds a strong note of realism. The rule of Yahweh binds Israel to an understanding that the social order must re ect the moral integrity of the world’s ultimate King. The reading from Romans 13 marks a point of transition within Paul’s letter. Paul here urges his readers to trust that faith in Christ makes a difference. Matthew 18 speaks to the importance of trustworthiness in the life of the believing community and provides measures for the restoration of confidence and for reconciliation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 12:1-14. In the Passover meal, no one is excluded from the table. Where in your life can you be more inclusive?
• Read Psalm 149. If you wrote a new song to celebrate and recall a “mighty act of God” in your life, what would the song be about?
• Read Romans 13:8-14. Reading these verses of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, how would you de ne your neighbors? Are there neighbors, whether close by or far away, with whom you need a closer connection?
• Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you spoken privately to a member of your faith community about an offense against you? What was the result?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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