1. Standard memberNemesio
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    17 Apr '07 21:49
    Consider the following passage:

    [Jesus said:] 'You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, "You shall not kill; and whosoever
    kills will be liable to judgment." But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable
    to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, "Raqa," will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and
    whoever says, "You fool," will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the
    altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar,
    go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
    Settle with your
    opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over
    to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen,
    I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
    St Matthew 5:21-26

    I am particularly interested in the emboldened part, but I submit the entire passage for consideration.

    My inquiry pertains specifically to those of catholic background (be it Roman, Anglican, Lutheran or
    otherwise). Those liturgies specifically have 'an offering' as part of their Eucharistic Rite. However,
    it is hard for me to believe that all of the worshippers present have 'reconciled with their brother'
    (which I take to mean fellow Christians, although this could be construed more widely as 'neighbor,'
    I think). The Roman Catholic Church has a Sacrament (called Reconciliation) which doesn't entail
    any reconciling with one's 'brother,' the other traditions have the option of such one-on-one consultation
    with the priest/minister.

    So, it would seem to me that, if one of these catholics had wronged another, s/he is duty bound to
    reconcile with them personally before coming to the altar with their offering.

    How is this construed by members of these traditions, or by any Christian who reads this forum?

    Nemesio
  2. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Apr '07 23:011 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Consider the following passage:

    [i][Jesus said:] 'You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, "You shall not kill; and whosoever
    kills will be liable to judgment." But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable
    to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, "Raqa," will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and
    whoever says, "You mbers of these traditions, or by any Christian who reads this forum?

    Nemesio
    [/i]First, it seems clear from the context here that it is a case where I am not the aggrieved party, but know that another has a valid grievance against me. That is, it not about unreconciled, or irreconcilable, relationships per se.

    Second, just to clear this out of the way aphiemi (letting go, releasing, setting free—generally translated as “forgiveness” ) does not necessarily entail either reconciliation or reunion of relationship.

    Third, I also do not see this as just about seeking forgiveness.

    Sometimes people go to someone they believe they have wrongfully harmed, and say something like: “I feel so guilty for what I did; will you please forgive me?” Which addresses neither the wrong done to the other party (except obliquely) or says anything at all about the relationship. It speaks only to the person seeking forgiveness: “I did you wrong; I feel badly; so you make me feel better.”

    Not that every act of seeking forgiveness takes this form; just one that I have seen often.

    Fourth, although this is just a side-issue, I don’t see Jesus as setting moral doctrine here, but engaging in an ancient practice called “putting a fence around the Torah.” That is, if one refrains from being angry, and refrains from acting on that anger toward the other, one will be less likely to harm or kill the other.

    With all that said, if one makes a continual effort to make amends for one’s wrongs, one is likely to be able to make his/her eucharistic offering of thanksgiving and praise without any anxiety over this. As a practical matter, suppose one is in the very act of receiving the host, and suddenly remembers a valid grievance held against them—one that they had forgotten, and therefore had come to the altar in good conscience. I see no reason why one cannot resolve to make the attempt at amends as soon as practicable, and wholeheartedly receive the Eucharist—perhaps with a prayer of gratitude for having remembered.

    Also, making direct amends is not always possible or wise. That is why 12-step programs add the caveat concerning cases where one judges that the attempt itself might cause more harm. So-called “truth dumping,” for example, is not always kind.

    Taking too literal or legalistic an approach to this reminds me of Luther’s continued anxiety over sins, even minor ones—as a monk, this kept him running to his confessor constantly, in fear that he might die in the next moment condemned.

    I think what you’re really getting at here is cases of spiritual hypocrasy...

    Background: Lutheran/Anglican (Episcopal)
  3. Standard memberNemesio
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    21 Apr '07 15:26
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [/i]First, it seems clear from the context here that it is a case where I am not the aggrieved party, but know that another has a valid grievance against me. That is, it not about unreconciled, or irreconcilable, relationships per se.

    Second, just to clear this out of the way aphiemi (letting go, releasing, setting free—generally translated ...[text shortened]... etting at here is cases of spiritual hypocrasy...

    Background: Lutheran/Anglican (Episcopal)
    No Christian has an opinion on making peace with his brother before coming to the table of the Lord?

    Nemesio
  4. Territories Unknown
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    21 Apr '07 15:471 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Consider the following passage:

    [Jesus said:] 'You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, "You shall not kill; and whosoever
    kills will be liable to judgment." But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable
    to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, "Raqa," will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and
    whoever says, "You mbers of these traditions, or by any Christian who reads this forum?

    Nemesio
    Although there are obviously multiple applications to this passage and the concepts therein, I will share how it currently applies on a personal front.

    When wronged, we can always go to a court outside of either party, recognized by both as a binding authority. However, submission to that authority necessitates agreement to live by the issued decision. That 'makes peace,' so to speak, between the otherwise equal warring entities.

    What if we don't like the outcome? What if that which appears reasonable to me is viewed entirely differently by the judge? Isn't it better for us to make our own peace, be our own authority over issues relative to our lives?

    In application, how can I say I worship God when I am at war against my fellow 'god,' another entity? Therefore, I strive to be at peace as much as possible with all within my periphery. Obviously some are insatiable in their demands upon my resources. These I try to avoid, lest I end up in a court outside my jurisdiction--- dragged there by their dissatisfaction, and thereby putting my first priority in jeopardy: worship of God.
  5. Standard memberreader1107
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    21 Apr '07 16:49
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    No Christian has an opinion on making peace with his brother before coming to the table of the Lord?

    Nemesio
    You had too much in your post, and nobody reads what I write anyway. But nevertheless, I'll address what I perceive to be an inaccuracy.

    You wrote: The Roman Catholic Church has a Sacrament (called Reconciliation) which doesn't entail
    any reconciling with one's 'brother,'


    Any priest worth his salt will include reconciling with the wronged party as part of the penance. True, there may still be priests who think saying three Hail Marys will make everything all better, but I think most will expect you to right the wrong, make restitution, etc.

    I also tend to think that there would be neither parishioners nor priests if only the blameless and those with healed relationships could come to the table. Instead, coming to the table regularly should lead one to the place where he or she can heal those relationships that can and should be healed.
  6. Standard memberNemesio
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    21 Apr '07 17:221 edit
    Originally posted by reader1107
    Any priest worth his salt will include reconciling with the wronged party as part of the penance. True, there may still be priests who think saying three Hail Marys will make everything all better, but I think most will expect you to right the wrong, make restitution, etc.

    I would think this were true, but it is not. Even the catichism reads:
    'It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the
    sinner the love of God who reconciles: 'Be reconciled to God.' He who
    lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: 'Go; first
    be reconciled to your brother.' CC1442

    Thus, reconciling with one's brother is not a formal part of the Sacrament
    of Reconciliation at all. And, in discussion with a few priests, neither is
    such reconciliation with one's brother the priest's duty -- the priest's duty
    is to be a vessel for God's grace, not a mediator.

    I also tend to think that there would be neither parishioners nor priests if only the blameless and those with healed relationships could come to the table. Instead, coming to the table regularly should lead one to the place where he or she can heal those relationships that can and should be healed.

    While this may be true (at least in theory), this runs contrary to the teaching
    of Jesus, which said first be reconciled with your brother, not come to
    worship for the purposes of being reconciled. It's not about being blameless,
    either. Being reconciled does not entail erasing blame. Being reconciled
    means the differences caused by the fault have been amended or
    accounted for.

    The RCC does indeed say that someone with a mortal sin should not
    commune at the table of the Lord, by the way.

    Nemesio
  7. Standard memberRBHILL
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    21 Apr '07 23:14
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    No Christian has an opinion on making peace with his brother before coming to the table of the Lord?

    Nemesio
    I want you to know though that he is only talking for believers. So if you get mad at your brother in Christ then you must make peace with him or you my not get the blessings that God wants to give to you. Trust me everytime I get made at a fellow believer I here this verse in the back of my head. So then I have to go make peace with them.
  8. Standard memberreader1107
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    21 Apr '07 23:45
    Originally posted by Nemesiosnip

    Thus, reconciling with one's brother is not a formal part of the Sacrament
    Lord, by theof Reconciliation at all. And, in discussion with a few priests, neither is
    such reconciliation with one's brother the priest's duty -- the priest's duty
    is to be a vessel for God's grace, not a mediator.


    The RCC does indeed say that someone with a mortal sin should not
    commune at the table of the way.
    The RCC does indeed say that someone with a mortal sin should not
    commune at the table of the way.


    I know. According to some, the penitential right at the beginning of Mass may take care of venial sins, or at least lessen their seriousness so that one may fully participate in the Mass. Others disagree.

    Thus, reconciling with one's brother is not a formal part of the Sacrament
    of Reconciliation at all. And, in discussion with a few priests, neither is
    such reconciliation with one's brother the priest's duty -- the priest's duty
    is to be a vessel for God's grace, not a mediator.


    The priest is not a mediator between the penitent and the penitent's "victims" but the sacrament does include penance. The priest can assign reconciliation as part of the penance.

    A lot depends on the priest's view of the sacrament. In one church in Tucson, for example, the priest announced that he didn't want to hear a bunch of "I swore three times and committed unkind acts three times" etc. He didn't want a simple laundry list but rather information so that the causes and circumstances of the sins could be examined and dealt with. He believed that if you simply present a list then next time you will have the same list, and each subsequent time. There is no change in your life except for this temporary forgiveness. That priest saw himself in a pastoral capacity. It was also evident in his self-identification as Father First-Name.

    In one church in Syracuse, on the other hand, the priest (Father Last-Name) saw himself as a technician of the sacraments. Give him the list, let him forgive you, and move on. He wasn't the least bit interested in why you did those things or whether or not you were likely to do them again tomorrow.
  9. Standard memberNemesio
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    21 Apr '07 23:48
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    I want you to know though that he is only talking for believers.
    This stipulation is problematic because you could conveniently assert that no one was your brother.
    For example, what about Kirksey? He's a professed Christian, he just disagrees with you. Or what
    about Ivanhoe? He's a Roman Catholic.

    Do you have to be reconciled with them? If not, why not?

    Nemesio
  10. Standard memberreader1107
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    21 Apr '07 23:511 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    This stipulation is problematic because you could conveniently assert that no one was your brother.
    For example, what about Kirksey? He's a professed Christian, he just disagrees with you. Or what
    about Ivanhoe? He's a Roman Catholic.

    Do you have to be reconciled with them? If not, why not?

    Nemesio
    If you "agree to disagree" does that count as reconciliation? You are not in battle with them, nor have you turned your backs on them. You are simply respecting each other enough to acknowledge that you will not agree on some matters.


    EDIT: So the question is ... how do you define reconciliation?
  11. Donationkirksey957
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    22 Apr '07 01:09
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    This stipulation is problematic because you could conveniently assert that no one was your brother.
    For example, what about Kirksey? He's a professed Christian, he just disagrees with you. Or what
    about Ivanhoe? He's a Roman Catholic.

    Do you have to be reconciled with them? If not, why not?

    Nemesio
    I thought that of late I had a very positive attitude with RBHill, even colluding with him at times to engage in some creative evangelism. I know many people have problems with him and his spelling doesn't help, but he's got a job, he's in school and he's got a girlfriend. All those would make Freud happy and even though he was a Jew, I still think it cause for celebration.
  12. London
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    27 Apr '07 18:572 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Consider the following passage:

    [Jesus said:] 'You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, "You shall not kill; and whosoever
    kills will be liable to judgment." But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable
    to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, "Raqa," will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and
    whoever says, "You ...[text shortened]... ed]... mbers of these traditions, or by any Christian who reads this forum?

    Nemesio
    Nice topic. Thank you for starting this thread.

    My inquiry pertains specifically to those of catholic background (be it Roman, Anglican, Lutheran or otherwise). Those liturgies specifically have 'an offering' as part of their Eucharistic Rite.

    But who is it that is doing the "offering"? In Catholic Eucharistic theology, the Sacrifice of the Mass is being offered by Christ (through the priest who stands in persona Christi) to the Father. In the strict sense, therefore, Christ's words in Mt 5 would be inapplicable to the congregation.

    The Roman Catholic Church has a Sacrament (called Reconciliation) which doesn't entail any reconciling with one's 'brother,' the other traditions have the option of such one-on-one consultation with the priest/minister.

    As you well know, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (I prefer the older terms 'Penance' or 'Confession'😉 is about reconciling oneself with God and the larger community -- not reconciling oneself with every single individual one has a broken relationship with.

    While I understand your concerns about hypocrisy and indifference to the sacraments, one mustn't also put needless obstacles between the Church and God's grace (given through the Sacraments).
  13. Joined
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    30 Apr '07 15:13
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    No Christian has an opinion on making peace with his brother before coming to the table of the Lord?

    Nemesio
    How wonderful! ...make peace and then be happy..... if only the world would listen to that !!!!
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