If you’re like me you’ve wondered something like the following: “I keep on falling to the same sin over and over. Is the Lord’s mercy running out on me? Will he keep forgiving me?”
One day as I was waiting in line for confession and thinking something like the above I was reminded of the beautiful exchange between the Lord Jesus and St. Peter in Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Now when our Lord says “seventy times seven” he does not mean 490 times! Rather this saying denotes the limitless forgiveness and mercy Peter should aspire to.
So here’s what struck me. If God’s mercy was not like that — limitless — the Lord Jesus would be commanding St. Peter to act in a way which was inconsistent with, and indeed contrary to, the nature of God. In other words, the second person of the Blessed Trinity would have been commanding St. Peter to sin – which is impossible!
This revelation allowed me to relax in the knowledge that we have a God whose heart is mercy! A God who is infinite in all of his attributes – mercy being one of them – and I had nothing to fear.
Smile! Rejoice! those lame Facebook memes about how God loves you – they’re true! Cheesy to be sure – but true!