Rome ("Città Nuova"), 25 july 2002
Commentary of the Word of Life:
Forgive your neighbour the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven (Ecclus. 28:2).
This Word of Life is taken from one of the so-called deuterocanonical or apocryphal books of the Bible. It was written between 180 and 170 BC, by Jesus Ben Sirach, who was a wise man and a scribe, teaching in Jerusalem. What he taught followed a theme dear to the whole of the Wisdom literature in the Old Testament: God is merciful to sinners and we should imitate his way of behaving. The Lord forgives all our guilt because he ‘is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love’ (Ps 103:8)