Asking for Forgiveness
Satan was complaining to the Lord:
“You are unfair. So many sinners do wrong and you take them back. In fact, some come back half a dozen times and you always welcome them. I make one big mistake and you condemn me forever. It is not fair.”
Said the Lord to Satan:
“Did you ever ask for forgiveness or repent?”
— Christopher Notes
[Mihalic, F. (1989). 1000 Stories You Can Use. Manila: Divine Word Publications.]
God is well aware that we are a Church of Sinners. You just have to look at the first people He called to know that. Take particular note of Peter and Judas Iscariot. Peter denied Jesus three times in his fear of being arrested and executed along with his Lord. If you’ll also recall the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible that include Peter, you’ll notice that Peter said quite a lot of things that were off. A veritable Hari ng Sablay, one might say. Then there’s Judas Iscariot, infamously known for betraying his Lord for 30 pieces of silver, enough said. Both men were sinners, both had crumbled when they were faced with the greatest temptation they had ever encountered. And yet…God entrusted His beloved Church and the keys of Heaven to one of them.
After denying Jesus three times out of cowardice and weakness, one can only imagine how extremely hard it is to face Him again and see all the wounds on His holy, innocent face and body. All that shame…and facing the fact that you had failed your Lord big time. Yet Peter went back to Jesus with his head bowed low, and humbly asked for His forgiveness.
Judas, on the other hand, upon realizing what he had done, drowned in his grief and shame and hung himself.
One of them chose to admit that he had sinned and humbled himself before his Lord, hoping that he would be able to receive God’s forgiveness and return to His loving embrace.
One of them was much too proud to go back. He ignored God’s infinite capacity for mercy and forgiveness, and cut himself off from God’s love for all eternity by ending his life.
Every day we trip and wander away from God in sin. And every day He waits for us to come back home to Him. Indeed, it’s very, very hard to admit you were wrong and to say “sorry”, especially after seeing how much damage you’ve done. Nakakahiya. But we have to believe that God loves us that much, no matter what we do or how terrible we had been. That He will eagerly welcome us back to Him, if we just turn back and seek Him again.