Posted By Colleen Moran on October 15, 2014
Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pt 4:8)
Take a few moments to meditate on what this verse means. I like the use of the word intense. “Let your love for one another be intense.” St. Peter probably didn’t know that he was describing himself. St. Peter was probably the most intense personality in Jesus’ little band of Apostles. Peter was always sharp, alert, aware, and ready in everything he did. This is how we are to be if we want to follow Christ. We must be sharp, alert, aware and ready in our love for one another. If we are not paying attention to those around us and what is going on, we will miss the clues, the graces, and the opportunity to love. If love covers a multitude of sins, than it stands to follow that the more intense our love is, the greater the multitude of sins we will cover. When we think of the word multitude we think of large amounts of people. That is precisely what St. Peter means; we cover a multitude of sins of a multitude of people. WOW. How can this be? Well, God we know can never be out done in charity. God loves with greater intensity than any of us humans ever could; with the exception of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who loved us so much that he was willing to die for our sins. What is the greatest attribute of love? Forgiveness. It is not because Jesus died for us that we are saved. It’s because He forgave us. If He died on the cross in bitterness and hatred, He would not have redeemed anyone. It was His forgiveness of our sins that saved us. If our love for one an- other is intense, our loving will also cover a multitude of sins. Think of it this way. If God can’t be out done in love, then we make Him obligated to forgive those whom we forgive.
If we forgive someone who has hurt us, than God will too. The greater our mercy is, then even greater will God’s mercy be. “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20.
My experience has taught me that it is very difficult to “bring back a sinner from the error of his ways.” I’m sure you’ll agree that people get pretty huffy when we try even with great love to encourage them to change their way. We may even have to endure their verbal abuse for trying to lovingly tell them of our concern for them. Our society today tells us they have a right to do what they want, and we should mind our own business. This makes us timid to speak up even with the best of intentions. This is not what Jesus did. Jesus was in everybody’s business. He dealt with sinners, not by loving, accepting and affirming them. Although they would like us to think that. No, he dealt with sinners by forgiving them. Forgiveness.
Forgiveness, not accepting, not affirming, not even loving but forgiving is what will change hearts. Even if a person is on their deathbed, unrepentant, we have no need to worry. If we can forgive them for the things they did to hurt us, God will not be out done in generosity; He will forgive them. Forgiveness saves a multitude of souls.
Jesus, We trust in You
Joan & Charlie Moran Eileen & Rich Garbe