2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In today’s reading we are reminded that as followers of Christ, we are called to his ministry of reconciliation and of love and compassion for each other.
Unfortunately parents and children are often in need of reconciliation, as we can find ourselves mired in the mud of conflicts and arguing which can lead us to hurting each others’ feelings. Although I want to have a more positive outlook here (at least when looking at the big picture), I have known of cases were parents and children have stopped talking to each other for years, leaving their relationships broken…seemingly beyond repair.
In addition, we can often fall into conflict with the ‘other’ parent, their family and even friends, when resentments can grow due to the break-up of a relationship…and these problems can last long after the end of the relationship.
It should be noted that there are addiction and abuse issues present in many of these cases, either by the parent, the child, or by both! Addiction and abuse can devastate lives and destroy families…and cause people who love each other to pull away from each other, just when they need each other’s love and support the most.
When there is abuse present, it is often best for all involved to go their separate ways, even when treatment is sought, often it is better to just forgive and move on than hope things will change permanently (note that forgiveness does not mean that what happened is now ‘okay’…but it does help us to move on).
In the case of addiction, once these issues are addressed, real healing can occur, it can even help to curb abusive behavior. Part of recovery from addiction is to make amends to others, and to find reconciliation…and this goes for both the addict and their loved ones who were also damaged by the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Regardless of the reasons for the conflict…from addiction or abuse, to homework issues, breaking curfew, or simply not wanting to do chores…or even if it is about the broken trust that comes with a bad ending to a relationship, there is good news! Our good news is found in today’s reading, that through Christ we can find forgiveness and reconciliation for even the worst of wrongs.
Showing us that no relationship is beyond repair…even if reconciliation means we have to go our separate ways for the good of everyone…as sometimes letting go is the best we can hope for.
And this is our hope: by following the call of Christ to reconciliation with each other it is possible for us to find forgiveness and therefore to make amends with our children and any others that we can find ourselves feeling resentful towards. In the spirit of reconciliation we can come to a place where we can start over and find a new beginning, free of abuse, free of the stress of living with addiction, and free of resentment. None of this is going to necessarily be easy, nor is it always a quick process…but that is why it is called a ‘beginning’ just the start at a new life of freedom, born out of our faith in the power of God’s grace in our world as given through Christ.
This new start in life can help us to build new relationships with those we love, make friends out of those we once disliked, and help us to put the pain of abuse behind us and may even help the abuser, or the addicted to seek out the help they need; however it is important to remember this is really about us…a rare opportunity for us to be selfish, as letting go of resentment is good for us, and is a way that we can live our faith out loud, by being ambassadors of Christ.
Once reconciled to each other, we can work together to support each other in our journey of reconciliation, restoration and renewal…which will help us in our travels along the road of single parenting.
Let us Pray:
God, help us to find forgiveness and reconciliation with our children, our loved ones, and with anyone else we may find ourselves feeling resentful toward. Let us share the light of Christ with those who can sometimes darken our days, and put aside our resentments…allowing us to move forward into a new life, even if that means finding peace by going our separate ways with those we once cared for. Thank you for the gift of Christ, who calls us to reconciliation so that we can renew our relationships with those around us…relationships that can nourish us as we continue down the path of single parenting.