In today’s Gospel Jesus raises the bar for us when he says “even if you are angry with someone you are subject to judgment.” If that was not enough, Jesus goes on to talk about what we need to do to reconcile with the other. What Jesus is suggesting is very contrary to my human nature. Instead of focusing on how I can reconcile with someone, I prefer to rehash our argument in my head for days or weeks.

This, however, is a trap that only keeps me stuck in the conflict, far away from doing the hard work of reconciliation. To reconcile often means we must take responsibility for the part we have played in a conflict. It may also mean reconciling with myself and letting go of a hurt or grudge that I allow to weigh me down. What reconciling can I begin today?

—Brother Pat Douglas, S.J. lives and works at Creighton University, Omaha. He is also vocation promoter for the Wisconsin Province Jesuits.