Life flows from facing difficulties with love…
These readings present some of the most difficult parts of following Jesus: naming and calling out sin and failure within our communities.
We are called to be people who pursue deep faithfulness in living with integrity and virtue. There are two parts to this work.
First, we need to be mindful of ourselves, being attentive to keeping our hearts open and tender, yet watching for our own temptations and sins against love and the Commandments. If we have not checked our own sinfulness and aren’t open to being corrected by others, then we need to start there.
Then, and only then, when we see challenges or sin in others, we can be tempted to avoid confrontation because it feels “nicer”. Love, however, does not avoid speaking directly about it, first privately, then with others if needed, and finally breaking off a relationship, always with the aim of drawing us all closer to Christ in love. Most of us need to practice, so we are in good company!