“So if you are presenting a gift at the altar in the Temple
and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,
leave your sacrifice there at the altar.
Go and be reconciled to that person.
Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
– Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)
Here our Lord gives us an enduring moral teaching of the highest order.
For today’s Christian, the greatest of all “gifts at the altar” is the Eucharist.
Although one has a duty to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation,
an essential condition before receiving Holy Communion
is that one be in the state of grace.
When Jesus talks about someone who “has something against you”,
there are at least two scenarios to consider:
someone could have something against us
in reaction to something we may have done,
or else it could be that someone has something against us and is wronging us
when we are totally innocent.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiveness, as instituted by Christ,
is there for us to obtain pardon from God’s mercy
for offenses committed against Him when we wrong others.
It is also there for us to humbly declare our forgiveness of others
when it is us who have been wronged by them.
“‘You must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important:
‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Mt 22:37-39)
When Jesus gave us this commandment,
He showed us how loving our neighbour should reflect our love for God
and how our love for God should be reflected in our love for others,
irrespective of whether others love us or not.
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving and forgiving me.
Help me love and forgive, like You do.