Love which is a desire for the ultimate good of another and the act of self-giving is the center of today’s readings. In today’s first reading, Prophet Ezekiel in Ez. 33:7-9 emphasizes the importance of love for our neighbors with God’s words to us that If we do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from their way, He will hold us responsible for their death. In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 13:8-10, while reminding us that love is the fulfillment of the law, St. Paul tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, because true Christian Love does no evil to the neighbor. Then in the gospel reading from the gospel of St. Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus states the importance of love in conflict resolution and in times of disagreements. So how do we love people who hurt us, hate us, fight us and reject us? This is a very difficult task to fulfill especially in our world today. But let us not forget the words of Jesus to us in the gospel reading, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” So, when we let go and let God into our lives, He will be in our midst to take charge of the situation. So how do we let go and let God take charge in times of conflict so as to live out the Christian Love emphasized in today’s readings?

We can do so by first of all by communicating with one another. In times of conflict, we have to communicate with one another so as to know the best way to move forward. Secondly, we have to listen to each other when we communicate so as to know what the problem is and find out how best to deal with it. Thirdly, as we are listening to each other, we have to try to understand each other’s feelings and sentiments in such moments as well as understand how well to deal with the situation. Fourthly, we have to accept our wrongdoings and faults to let peace reign and to deal with the conflict. Lastly, we have to sacrifice and let go of our pride for peace and love to reign. My brothers and sisters, since love is the greatest commandment and since love does no evil to the neighbor as stated by St. Paul, let us love one another by reaching out to one another, communicating with one another, listening to one another with our hearts and not just our ears, understanding each other, accepting our faults and wrongdoings and lastly, swallowing our pride by sacrificing so that peace will reign. Amen!