Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the need for forgiveness, not because I’m particularly troubled by my own failure at reconciliation (I am. But that’s another story.). Rather, I’ve been troubled by a number of students who seem to find forgiveness impossible. Some truly believe that the sins they have committed are unforgiveable. And because of that, they stay away from confession, from mass and even from prayer.

When we can’t even see ourselves as forgiveable, what chance might we have to be able to forgive others? I hasten to say that they answer may be none. We cannot give what we can’t receive, what we don’t have an experience of.

In the great prayer that Jesus taught us, we pray that our sins are erased just as we forgive the sins of others. That only seems fair. After all forgiveness is not cheap or facile.

Desmond Tutu reminds us that “Reconciliation is never easy. In fact, it cost God his only son.”

God so loved us that God couldn’t bear not to reconcile with us. It was there that God gave us the ultimate sign of His love. On the cross, Jesus forgives even those who drive the nails into his flesh. God forgives those who not only don’t accept God’s gift of his very self, but even those who kill Him. How much more can he forgive us?

0 thoughts on “Can God Forgive Us?”
  1. I also find it hard to be forgiving and holding onto things makes life even harder. Maybe we see ourselves as unforgivable. Maybe we do wrong things but our parents always forgive us and love us no matter what. And if our parents can forgive us for all our misbehavior, God will forgive much more. In fact, he does, Like you said, it costed him His Son.

    1. Indeed. It is hard. Simply stated I’m not sure how much we want to forgive people. We like revenge and think that we have the power to set things right, when in essence only God can rightly bring this to completion.

  2. Revenge doesn’t help things become better either. It leads to unforgivness and bitterness instead. It’s important to “Let go and let God”

  3. As God is Love and goes to such great lengths to reach us, we are hurting ourselves, those around us and God by NOT accepting this forgiveness. Taken in little steps I think we can slowly learn to accept God’s forgiveness and Love, the Love that is his son. Once started he draws you ever closer. I have found that just being still and being with God can do such great good and that good can then flow on to others. Truly transforming!

  4. Via Facebook

    From James Hamilton:

    “Excellent article Michael, especially the Desmond Tutu quote. Remember the song we used on Emmaus, “Come as you are, that’s how I loved you?” I found that song particularly inviting whenever we wrote down our sins and burned them in the fire. I always found that very healing.”

  5. Via Facebook

    From Fr. Frank DeSiano

    “I find the key issue is appropriating God’s reconciliation. Often people are messed up with “What do I need to do to be forgiven by God.” That’s not the issue. God has forgiven and forgives. People don’t see that very clearly.”

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