Devotional Thought of the Day
2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche* to come to a mutual understanding in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my true yokemate,* to help them, for they have struggled at my side in promoting the gospel, along with Clement and my other co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. NABRE Phil. 4:2-3
174 Don’t say, “That person bothers me.” Think: “That person sanctifies me.”
Yesterday I wrote about the church being urged to work for unity at every level. That scripture urged us to do so, even as we find ourselves in opposition to others. That unity is found int he presence of God, in a sacramental (some would say incarnational) presence of God.
In my devotional reading today, Paul is again urging unity, but this time we aren’t the one’s who are divided – we are urged, as the church, to help bring two people back together, to help them reconcile and know the unity that can only be found in Christ.
Paul urges us to help them, and while we probably don’t have these names in our congregations and parishes, we have people that stand apart, that divided over something. People that we might classify as good people, people that work hard in the church, that minister to those hurting, that feed those who are hungry, that care and teach people about God’s love.
Let’s face it, we all have stubborn streaks, we all can be more than a bit irritable and irritating. We can all struggle and in those struggles, get a bit defensive, and bit anxious, a bit territorial. We all struggle with sin, and sin can divide people, even as it separates us from God.
Our sin, and the unrighteousness of the sins committed against us need to drive us to the altar, to the cross where the blood of Jesus cleanses us. That is where the healing between two who find themselves divided and antagonistic can happen. For there, face to face with sin being forgiven, with mercy being extended, we see what happens.
It is in the presence of God that we find that mutual understanding in the Lord. It is where love overwhelms us and where healing begins, as God heals us, as God draws into unity together.
And sometimes – the two parties need the third to remind them of this – that there they are together, that there they are both cleansed, and whatever divided them fades as quickly as their own sin does.
There, at the altar, where we celebrate the New Covenant, there is where they are reconciled. There, they find peace, and the joy of community united in Jesus is restored! AMEN!.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Location 534). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.