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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17
Matthew 18:15-20

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in conflict

"I have let you feast your eyes upon [the promised land], but you shall not cross over." —Deuteronomy 34:4

Moses "had no equal in all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to perform" (Dt 34:11). Nevertheless, the unequaled Moses was deprived of entering the promised land because he did not show forth God's holiness at the waters of Meribah, a name which means "conflict" (see Nm 20:12-13).

Moses' downfall was his difficulty in dealing with conflicts. As a young man, Moses murdered an Egyptian in trying to deal with a conflict (Ex 2:12). Then he became a fugitive (Ex 2:15). Years later, when the Israelites fought with God and him, Moses still did not deal with conflict in a way that was pleasing to God. Finally, he was deprived of entering the promised land.

We will be able to do better than the great Moses if we resolve conflicts according to the Bible by:

  1. discreetly pointing out to our brothers and sisters any wrongs they have committed against us. We must keep this between the two of us (Mt 18:15),
  2. understanding the role of Christian community and the Church in resolving conflicts (see Mt 18:16-18), and
  3. emphasizing the importance of prayer in peace-making (see Mt 18:19).

Jesus is our Peace (Eph 2:14). He has reconciled "everything in His person, both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of His cross" (Col 1:20). Let us be peacemakers (Mt 5:9) and ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18). Let us enter the promised land.

Prayer:  Father, may we accept Your grace to forgive and love our enemies to the point that we will die for them.

Promise:  "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst." —Mt 18:20

Praise:  St. Maximilian exhorted his fellow captives by stating, "Courage, my sons. Don't you see that we are leaving on a mission?"

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013

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