From today’s Gospel, from St Luke: ‘Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, “I repent,” you must forgive him.’

The Rule of our Holy Father St Benedict has this to say: ‘The Offices of Lauds and Vespers should never be allowed to pass without the superior at the end of all reciting the Lord’s Prayer in the hearing of all the brethren, on account of the thorns of scandal which are wont to arise; so that warned by the covenant which they make in that prayer, saying: “Forgive us as we forgive,” they may cleanse themselves of such faults’.

What is it to forgive? It is not to condone an evil; God alone is the judge. But it is for us to release, to let go of the fault, to be free of it. It is to pardon an offence, to give up entirely the desire to punish another.

Today, may we take a moment to reflect on our lives, to see if there is a person whom we need to forgive, or ask forgiveness of. May we be much blessed in this, and know joy and freedom.