The Gospel should give us pause. Jesus tells us that hating our brother is equivalent to murder and put us in “danger of hell fire.” The advice Our Lord renders is that before we make an offering at the altar but remember that our brother has something against us, to “leave thy offering...and be reconciled” to him first before presenting our gift. Thus, if we wish that God “forsake me not” (Introit) love toward others must be shown. We ask God to help prepare us by pouring into our hearts “love toward Thee.”
St. Augustine in discussing the Gospel reading tells us that the Pharisees regarded perfection as not murdering anybody physically, which is a minimum morality. However, God desires perfection and Our Lord teaches that avoiding anger is perfection in that we avoid murdering somebody interiorly. Thus, if we think about it, Our Lord was subjected to the lies, hatred and open insults of the Sanhedrin who accused Him of blasphemy falsely and thus shared in murdering Jesus. St. Peter explains how we love our neighbour by refraining our “tongues from evil” and seeking after “peace” with our brother.
The Offertory tells of the joy that comes from having received “understanding” from God. The Secret asks that the gifts which we have brought before the altar be of benefit to all. The Communion hymn expresses our aspirations to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” and that we may be “cleansed” from our “hidden faults” and delivered from “our enemies” (Postcommunion).
Today is Feast of St. Bonaventure E. C. D., born in Tuscany in 1221, who joined the Franciscan Order, as a scholar, taught at the University of Paris with St. Thomas Aquinas. He is called the Seraphic Doctor. Although not commemorated in the Mass today using the 1962 book, we ought to ask in prayer for his intercession that doctrine may be clear and pure in the Church.