2 Corinthians 5:14-16 – For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. (NRSV)
One of the most powerful moments of reconciliation I have experienced was during the transition from white to majority rule in South Africa. Two South Africans came to my country of Canada— one black and a former member of the ANC, one white and a strong supporter of Apartheid, and they spoke passionately about the necessity to put aside the dividing wall between their two peoples and make peace, but a peace not as this world gives but a peace that makes friends out of those who had been enemies.
Have we learned that to keep a sister or brother we need to be reconciled? It starts with us and who we are as people. We need to pay a price and the price is often high – as high as our egos, as high as humility and asking and giving forgiveness, loving mercy more than being 'right'.
At an international meeting on religion in Florence, Italy, a thoughtful Appeal for Peace was issued in these words: "Whoever uses the name of God to hate the neighbour stands apart from a pure and spotless religion, since the many names of God never mean war but, taken together, they all make up the word peace."
Prayer: Reconciling God, make me a channel of your peace: where there's despair in life, let me bring hope; where there is darkness, only light; and where there's sadness, ever joy. O Spirit, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul. In the name of him who is our reconciliation. Amen.