Homily, Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe

“Well, have you spoken with him?”

“Have you talked to her?”

How often in our lives when there are disagreements or even perceived wrongs between people do we find those simple questions to be a good starting point? It may be in the family, it may be a friend or an acquaintance, it may be someone at work who we feel has wronged us or slighted us but we haven’t yet asked them about what happened.

Jesus in today’s gospel reminds us that we owe our brother or sister that first opportunity to respond. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” It is something we owe them out of charity. We have to start there.

Now, it is also clear from the gospel (and from our own personal experiences) that this doesn’t always work for Jesus then says to next go to others and then to the “church.” But one still has to try. After all, wouldn’t you want someone to try for you if the shoe was on the other foot?

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