30th Sunday in Ordinary time
Ecclesiasticus 35:12-14, 16-19
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Philosopher Charles Taylor once wrote that, “humanity is constituted in conversation.” This small little statement has had a profound impact on my life, and ministry. The idea that we find the very purpose and meaning of humanity in the conversations that we have with one another. Not necessarily the content of those conversations, but the conversations themselves.
These conversations are not able to happen without trust, and trust is not able to be formed without the ability to apologise. It’s what Jesus is telling us in our gospel today. We all know the power of an apology, whether we are giving or receiving one. Psychologists call it “rupture and repair.” The phenomenon of a rupture, or weakness within a relationship becoming an area of strength after intentionally repairing it.
Jesus cares little for self-righteousness, however the humility contained within an apology, a simple statement of “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” is far more central to his life and mission. This is true for our relationship with God, and it is true for our relationships with one another. Never underestimate the power of simply saying sorry. It’s one of the first things (I would hope!) we’re taught as children, and it becomes even more important in our relationships as adults. Today we’re invited to strengthen our ability to simply apologise, after all, repentance is one of the core tenets of our faith.
Luke Bulley CP serves as the assistant priest at St Paul Apostle in Endeavour Hills. He is also a co-founder and Team Leader of The Francis Project, an interdenominational school for Church renewal.