We have to be clear about this very heartwarming truth of our faith. God is always willing to forgive us no matter how grave our sins are. He always offers forgiveness to us and it is all up to us to take that offer. We should never be afraid to go to him asking for forgiveness.
Remember that scene of him hanging on the cross before he died. One of his last words was: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23,34) Not only did he offer forgiveness to those who crucified him, who at the end of the day are actually all of us because we all sin and sin is the cause of his crucifixion. He also made the effort to find an excuse for his killers, for all of us. That’s what real love is, which is what God is.
Would he still forgive us if our sins are really that big and ugly? Again, let’s remember that the greatest evil, the biggest sin committed not only by some men but by all of us, has already been done. And that is none other than the killing of God in Christ on the cross.
Whatever sin we commit, no matter how big and ugly, is nothing compared to that most horrible sin. So, let’s not exaggerate our sinfulness. Our sins may be very horrible, but God’s grace, his mercy, can always handle them. (cfr. Rom 5,20)
And why is God so merciful? The only reason we can find is that at bottom, regardless of how we may have been behaving in our earthly life, we are all children of God, the object of his predilection among his creatures, since we have been created in his image and likeness. He cannot but love us, yes, even to a fault.
God in Christ will do everything to save us. That is why St. Paul said in his Letter to the Romans: “Since He did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (8,32)
It’s good that we remember these words always so that we avoid overreacting to our sinfulness and to our not-so-well-formed conscience that may relay to us a devil-inspired thought that we are already irredeemable. God is willing to go all the way to the gates of hell if only to save us.
God knows from all eternity that we would have weaknesses, that we would fall into sin, that we have the capacity to go against him, and yet all these do not deter him from creating us and helping us all the time so we can be what he wants us to be.
We cannot consider God the way we, especially in our wounded condition, consider ourselves. God’s ways are way above our ways. His standards, so to speak, are infinitely higher than our standards. Though we are his image and likeness and should therefore reflect him in our lives, we would always find ourselves short of what he wants us to be. To counter this lifelong predicament of ours, we should just act out of sheer faith.
Anyway, we are told by St. Paul himself that he who started everything with us will also be the one to complete and perfect everything is us. (cfr. Phil 1,6) Ours is simply to go along with God’s will and ways as best that we can.
Hopefully, once we are convinced of God’s love and mercy, we can unburden ourselves of unnecessary feelings of guilt and sadness, and just focus and rally all our powers and resources in doing what is truly good, which is none other than to do the will of God, loving him and loving everybody else.
That is when we can truly say we have passed the test of our life which is about whether we want to be with God or against him!*