From today’s Gospel, from St Matthew: ‘If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’.

St Hilary of Poitiers commented: ‘He bids us when peace with our fellow men is restored, then to return to peace with God, passing from the love of men to the love of God; “Then go and offer thy gift”. … The gift which we offer to God, whether learning, or speech, or whatever it be, cannot be accepted of God unless it be supported by faith. If then we have in aught harmed a brother, we must go and be reconciled with him, not with the bodily feet, but in thoughts of the heart, when in humble contrition you may cast yourself at your brother’s feet in sight of Him whose offering you are about to offer’.

Forgiveness is key in our life with others and with God – ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’, runs the Lord’s Prayer.

Today is also the Optional Memoria of St Polycarp, who was converted to Christianity by St John the Evangelist. May St Polycarp pray for us, that forgiveness may be an important part of our lives; and may God bless you this day.