On Tuesday, the United States elected a new president. One of the greatest difficulties that we all will face moving forward is how we can reconcile with one another after a time of deep division. Perhaps one of the great temptations that the communities in today’s Gospel faced, and that we now face, is to react to this discord with vengeance, complaint, or even despair.

The point of today’s reading is not that God wants to punish us. Rather, God wants us to free us from what keeps us from love of him and one another. So as we move forward after a difficult election, and in the midst of confusing division, let us not forget that we belong to each other. Let us reject the fear of admitting our own failures, and forgiving those of others. Perhaps this way we can begin to heal what may be broken.

—Chris Williams, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.