There’s a tendency in a lot of Christians to see two different versions of God. There’s the God of the Old Testament, who’s all fire and brimstone and rules and punishment. Then there’s the God of the New Testament, who loved the world so much, He sent His only Son to save sinners. But the God of the New Testament is the same God of the Old Testament. It’s not that God changed. God never changes. It’s the perception of who God is that changed over time.
Today’s verses remind us that God has always been a God of mercy. And because God is infinite, His mercy is also infinite. He has always been forgiving and He will never stop forgiving. His mercy never runs out, no matter how often we sin or how long it’s been since our last Confession. Like the song “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture goes: “Your love never fails and never gives up and never runs out on me.” He has always been good and forgiving, slow to anger, housing infinite mercy for all those who ask for it.
If we ever come across a Bible passage that shows an angry, punishing God, know that the anger originated from love first. Oftentimes, we get angry at people who put themselves in harmful situations and feel so relieved when they get out of that situation without getting hurt, or feel their pain when they actually get hurt by that harmful situation. But the anger we feel does not diminish the love we have for those we care about. Eventually, the anger subsides.
Believe me when I say that God’s anger not only subsides when we ask for His mercy, it goes away altogether. When we confess our sins, the power of absolution makes it so that, in God’s mind, that sin never happened in the first place. No matter how many times we fall or make mistakes, God will always be there to help us back up, so long as we always acknowledge the fact that we are broken and are in need of help.
When I started writing these meditations, my mind was immediately drawn to St. Faustina Kowalska and her devotion to Jesus’ Divine Mercy. I’ll tell you more about St. Faustina later on. For now, we can start by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It’s traditionally prayed at 3PM, but hey it’s always 3 o’clock somewhere. It’s a really easy prayer that’s prayed on a Rosary. Instructions for praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be found here. I often pray this prayer with my father while we drive somewhere. When we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, let’s ask God for His mercy with all of our hearts and trust that by the time we finish that prayer, He has given it to us.