Today’s readings are all about relationships. Among the many lessons we have learned from the global pandemic is the deep importance of the relationships and communities in our lives. Our families, neighbors, friends and parish family need us, and we need them to be our best selves.
St. Paul gives us simple instruction in our second reading from Romans to guide us in our dealings with others, reminding us what Christ Himself taught: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is the overarching principal that guides us to be good stewards of our relationships.
In our Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus further refines this instruction on good stewardship of our relationships, even when they involve conflict. He says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.”
Jesus teaches us to confront the offending person directly and discretely — with the goal of restoring the relationship if possible. This is how we steward our relationships even through rocky waters. Jesus also speaks to us of the power and beauty of community life. “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Christian stewards, God has designed us in such a way that we must help each other on the journey towards heaven. Let us take care to steward our relationships well.

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