1st Reading – Sirach 27:30-28:9
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
Sirach is one of the books accepted as canonical by Catholics but not by Protestants. It was originally written in Hebrew in the 2nd century BC and then translated into Greek by the original author’s grandson. It is a work of wisdom literature, as today’s reading demonstrates.
This passage teaches exactly the same connection between forgiving and being forgiven that Jesus teaches Peter in today’s gospel reading.