From today’s Gospel, from St Matthew: ‘Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven”’.

St Hilary of Poitiers commented: ‘When Peter asked him whether he should forgive his brother sinning against him up to seven times, the Lord replied, “Not up to seven times but up to seventy times seven times.” In every way he teaches us to be like him in humility and goodness. In weakening and breaking the impulses of our rampant passions he strengthens us by the example of his leniency, by granting us in faith pardon of all our sins. For the vices of our nature did not merit pardon. Therefore all pardon comes from him. In fact, he pardons even those sins that remain in one after confession. … By the gift of baptism he grants the grace of salvation to his revilers and persecutors. How much more is it necessary, he shows, that pardon be returned by us without measure or number. And we should not think how many times we forgive, but we should cease to be angry with those who sin against us, as often as the occasion for anger exists’.

May we be granted the grace to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven, and may God bless you this day.