By Michael Loes – President Elect
We hear the cliché, ‘God loves you’ throughout the year—and it’s true throughout the year. Jesus reveals the meaning of this love when in the Gospel of John, He declares that “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). This love that God shows us through His death, however, is profoundly different from the love that I could show to my friends. His love is a Divine love; simultaneously infinite in span and depth—God loves each person individually, as if they were the only person on the planet, and at the same time, loves every person in this way—Wow!
As a mathematician, I find it daunting trying to comprehend the concept of infinity in concrete terms. Unfortunately, ‘infinity’ has lost some of its weight and we often use ‘infinite’ as an exaggeration for ‘very much’. When we speak of the ‘infiniteness’ of God’s love for us, it is impossible for us to overstate its real depth. In the truest, most authentic understanding of infinity, human language is incapable of comprehending and conveying its magnitude—God loves you that much! Of course, the infinite reality of God does not stop there. On this second Sunday of Easter, known as Divine Mercy Sunday, we focus upon another attribute of God, one which Pope St. John Paul II called ‘God’s greatest’ – His mercy. Divine mercy is also, in true Godly fashion, unbounded.
This mercy is simultaneously all-encompassing, yet profoundly individual. As Catholics we believe that God, in His infiniteness, is not limited by time and space. A logical—yet very abstract—conclusion that follows is that God knows, and has always known, everything that you (and everyone else) have done and will do. Thus, through His death on the cross for our sins He has accounted for and forgiven all of them. The only condition is that we ask for this forgiveness for ourselves and the whole world. This is the meaning of Divine Mercy; a consoling message of the love and mercy of God available to all who seek it, which is then passed on to others. As this school year comes to a close and the stress of final projects and exams builds on campus, I encourage you to consciously strive to be kind to others, sharing the love and mercy so freely given to you by God.