We can be confident that the Lord will forgive us, when we ask forgiveness with contrite hearts…
Pope Francis stressed this during his first General Audience, April 24, since Easter Sunday, as he continued his catecheses on the Our Father.
Speaking on the expression “as we forgive those who trespass against us,” Francis recalled God’s infinite love and willingness to pardon those who sincerely, contritely repent and ask forgiveness, but at the same time there is the expectation we do the same.
Reminding that “this grace also calls us to forgive others, just as God has forgiven us,” Pope Francis underscored: “The message is clear: if you refuse to forgive, then you will not be forgiven.”
Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the “Our Father”, we now consider the expression: “as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Since everything we have, including our very existence, comes as a gift from God, we are always in his debt, for our life was not simply willed, it was also loved into being. We can be confident, then, that the Lord will always forgive our trespasses when we ask him with contrite hearts. Yet this grace also calls us to forgive others, just as God has forgiven us. We see this in the parable of the unmerciful servant, who though having his own enormous debt written off, in turn refuses to cancel a much smaller debt owed to him. The message is clear: if you refuse to forgive, then you will not be forgiven. God, however, grants every Christian the grace to be able to transmit to others the precious gift of forgiveness, which we can do with a word, an embrace, or a smile.
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