Friday, March 18, 2011

Homily: Ninth Step - Making Amends





I had a wonderful moment recently of reconciliation with my older brother. He’s is on the ninth step of making amends. I’m truly humbled because he’s taken the initiative to meet with all of his brothers and sisters and his parents. He’s truly come to each one of us and tried to lay everything out before us and make amends. And it was a truly reconciling beautiful couple of hours that my brother and I spent together.

We hear Jesus instruct us in the Gospel today:
If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Jesus is telling us of the importance of making amends.
After we have made a list of people we have harmed, have reflected carefully upon each instance, and have tried to possess ourselves of the right attitude in which to proceed, we will see that the making of direct amends divides those we should approach into several classes. There will be those who ought to be dealt with just as soon as we become reasonably confident that we can maintain our sobriety. There will be those to whom we can make only partial restitution, lest complete disclosures do them or others more harm than good. There will be other cases where action ought to be deferred, and still others in which by the very nature of the situation we shall never be able to make direct personal contact at all.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 83

The idea is that there is a willingness in us to make amends if at all possible. Especially those most close to us, we can make amends, be vulnerable enough to seek them out and bring about reconciliation.

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