Jesus is always there waiting for us to ask forgiveness and will always be merciful to the contrite of heart.
Frequently when we make a wrong choice and commit a grave sin, it is tempting to think that Jesus would never forgive us. We might say to ourselves, “How could Jesus forgive such a terrible sinner as me?”
The good news is that Jesus is always there for us, ready and waiting for us to return to him with a contrite heart.
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This is expressed in the story of the Prodigal Son, where the father willingly embraces his wayward son.
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
In fact, not only is Jesus waiting for us, he is actually seeking us out! This is clearly displayed in the gospel story of the shepherd who goes out to search for the lost sheep.
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost. (Matthew 18:12-14)
Jesus’ mercy is without bounds, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly proclaims, “There are no limits to the mercy of God” (CCC 1864).
At the same time, we must also accept Jesus’ love into our hearts and accept his mercy.
[A]nyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss. (CCC 1864)
In the New Testament, John writes in his first letter about this reality, explaining how Jesus will certainly forgive us, but we must accept that forgiveness.
[I]f we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10)
To answer the question, “Will Jesus forgive me?” Yes!
Go to confession, pour out your heart to God through his minister, the priest, and accept Jesus’ mercy.
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