If anyone is in conflict with another, end the quarrel lest you yourself come to a deadly end. Do not consider this unimportant, my beloved…. We realize that a just person is not without some sins. But there is one remedy which enables us to keep alive. For God, our Master, told us to say in our prayers: “Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us.” We have made a contract with God and taken a resolution, adding for safety’s sake the condition that the wrong must be forgiven. This makes us ask with complete confidence to be forgiven provided we too forgive.
From a sermon by Caesarius, Bishop of Arles [c. 543],
and directly related to this Sunday’s
Gospel reading from Matthew.
Let us remember: each time we offer the Lord’s Prayer, we are reaffirming our belief in the centrality of forgiveness.
Let us also pray this is lived out in the lives of individual Christians and the hierarchies and ecclesiastical bodies representing the Church to the world around us.