Most people have heard that “God loves them” since childhood, and yet most people don’t know or believe in God’s loves them. How many of us have grown up believing that God is angry, mean, vengeful, judgmental, and emotionally distant? If you’re like me, you grew up with an image of a God who was temperamental, slow to forgive, and only loved you if you were good and didn’t sin a lot. But this is all a lie of who god is. An age old misconception. It’s is one of the big reasons people pray and can’t connect with God or feel far away from Him. After all, who would want to form a relationship with a tyrant, someone who is angry and temperamental? Many of us know intellectually that god loves us, but when we think about it deeper, we don’t usually believe in our hearts that God loves us individually, passionately, unconditionally.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, the day we celebrate the immense depths of God’s unconditional love and mercy! I recently went to an all-day Divine Mercy Conference, and one message I felt God put strongly on my heart was that, for too long, too many people have viewed God through the eyes of guilt and fear, regret and dread. The reason so many Christians don’t have great joy and peace is because they don’t know God’s immense love for them. When we know and experience the power God’s love, it transform’s us and sets a fire in our hearts. Coming to know the real God frees us and allows us to be happy and be at peace.
At the conference, I had a vivid image strongly impressed in my mind. The image was that of a steel birdcage with countless people locked inside, including countless religious people. they were unhappy and discontent. Due to fear, these people never cried out to God but just accepted their life, though dissatisfied and unhappy. I felt so strongly that God Himself doesn’t want this. Rather, He desires these people to be released from their cage and to be set free. Free from sin, doubt, guilt, and fear. Free from the lies, myths, and misconceptions we have accepted about God.
I know people who go to confession but have never confessed one or two particular sins out of fear. God is our loving Father and wants us to know that no sin is too big for Him to forgive. It doesn’t matter if you’ve killed three people or had five abortions. In fact, at the Conference, a priest told of some ladies he knew who had up to 25 abortions before seeking and finding God’s love, mercy and healing. So, it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past but where you want to go in the future. God can wipe your soul completely clean, and when you know the power of that love and mercy, you will be transformed.
So, for anyone who has sin, regret, and years that were “wasted”; for anyone tired of living in guilt, and fear, of carrying around a thousand pound weight on your heart daily; for anyone tired of life, brokenhearted, abused, and rejected; for anyone who feels like they are so bad they could never be forgiven, Jesus desires to help you and set you free if you will allow Him. He has the key to the cage. His arms are open and waiting! Everything Pope Francis has been preaching confirms this.
Now is the time for mercy! Now is the time for healing and new life – a springtime of new faith! God is reaching out to you. Will you respond to God? Pray to God today like never before on this Divine Mercy Sunday (and everyday). Pray for forgiveness, healing, and to have a deeper connection with God.
Speaking from experience, if you follow God with all your heart, you won’t be disappointed. The Lord Jesus is the only one who can give you back the wasted years, heal the pieces of your broken heart, and write straight with the crooked lines and mistakes of your life. God makes all things new, and nothing puts a bigger smile on His face.
Perhaps you already know and fully believe God’s love for you and have even experienced His deep mercy in your life, but unfortunately, so many other people don’t know it. So, please share this with people who need to know God’s total, complete, and unconditional love. If anyone still doubts it, look at a crucifix. It’s the eternal sign of God’s love and mercy for you and for me.