Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
Following those words, Jesus illustrates his teaching with examples of anger and reconciliation. He uses examples so common and homely we cannot avoid their impact.
Have I ever been angry with a sister or brother in the Church? Have I ever called someone a fool? Have I ever preferred not to be reconciled with someone in my own community?
Until I heard these mini-parables I thought I was doing pretty well, that my righteousness at least matched that of the scribes and pharisees, and possibly surpassed them.
His warning is also pretty obvious. If I do not make peace with my sister or brother I will have to face a judge who will settle what we could not settle between us. And the odds are, I will not like what the judge decides.
But, don't I have loads of time? Can't I put this off? I'm in good health; I expect to live several more years!
Jesus says, "Leave your gifts at the altar and go and be reconciled...."
In other words, don't go to Mass until you settle this!
But it's a sin to miss Mass on Sunday!
Yes, that's right. Let's see -- today is Thursday, you have three days.
Making peace with others is really not that difficult. I have only to swallow my pride, admit that I was wrong, offer to make amends, and admit that I have offended a sister or brother who deserves better of me. That's really not very difficult.