“The love of God is always greater than anything we can imagine; it even reaches beyond any sin with which our conscience may charge us,” Pope Francis said on March 9, 2018, in his homily during the penitential service at St. Peter’s in Rome.
He reminded the congregation that “His is an infinite love, one that knows no bounds. It is free of all those obstacles that we, for our part, tend to set in front of others, out of fear that they may strip us of our freedom.”
The Holy Father explained that “sin distances us from God…sin is the way that we distance ourselves from him.” But he said that it does not mean that “God distances himself from us. The state of weakness and confusion that results from sin is one more reason for God to remain close to us.”
Peter denied the Lord three times and was startled by the crowing of the cock, then realizing the man he denied was going to die for him. Peter finally understands how much the Lord loves him.
“Peter realizes that he had always refused to let himself be loved,” the Pope continued. “He had always refused to let himself be saved by Jesus alone, and so he did not want Jesus to love him completely.”
The Holy Father concluded: “How truly difficult it is to let ourselves be loved! We would always like a part of us to be freed of the debt of gratitude, while in reality, we are completely indebted, because God loved us first and, with love, he saves us completely.”