From Section III: Mercy, Unconditional Love and Justice
What emerges from the rich tapestry of Scripture is a picture of God as a father who loves us, his children, unconditionally. This is the mystery and the reality of God’s mercy. Such unconditional love is truly one of the great gifts and great mysteries of life. It can be hard to understand, especially so formed as we are by a world of exchange. It can be hard to give and at times even hard to accept. We sometimes want to think we have earned the love we receive. But the gift of unconditional love is a mystery that parents and children know first-hand — at least we hope so. At their best, parents love their children unconditionally. No matter what they do, one’s children are loved. Certainly, we want children to know — and it is a parent’s responsibility to teach them — that actions have consequences, including punishment. But the loss of the parent’s love is not one of the consequences. That is the point of love being unconditional. So too with God as our Father.