Jesus preached to the people, asking them to repent, just as the Ninevites had done, saying, "They turned from their sins when they heard Jonah preach." - Luke 11:32
An old legend portrays what takes place outside the gates of Heaven after the world ends. The last group of saints and repentant sinners has just climbed up the golden stairway that connects the earth to Heaven. Everyone is in a festive mood, singing, and dancing. Everyone excepts Jesus. He stands alone at the top of the stairs, looking towards earth. He is obviously looking for someone. When a saint asks Him who it is, Jesus says, “I’m looking for Judas, hoping he may have had a change of heart before he died and join us."
The God of Jesus has no room for hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home. But just as the father in the “Prodigal Son” parable lets both of his sons make their own decisions, God gives us the freedom to refuse divine love, even at the risk of destroying ourselves. Hell is not God's choice. It is ours. God's choice is to forgive, heal, and embrace completely.
"In what area of my life might I long for yet resist a deeper conversion of heart?
Might this affect the way I forgive someone who has hurt me?"
inspired by Mark Link SJ
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