“The term hesed indicates a profound attitude of “goodness.” (…) When in the Old Testament the word hesed is used of the Lord, this always occurs in connection with the covenant that God established with Israel. This covenant was, on God’s part, a gift and a grace for Israel. Nevertheless, since, in harmony with the covenant entered into, God had made a commitment to respect it, hesed also acquired in a certain sense a legal content. The juridical commitment on God’s part ceased to oblige whenever Israel broke the covenant and did not respect its conditions. But precisely at this point, hesed, in ceasing to be a juridical obligation, revealed its deeper aspect: it showed itself as what it was at the beginning, that is, as love that gives, love more powerful than betrayal, grace stronger than sin” (Dives in Misericordia, nr 4, note nr 52).
When we make a contract with someone, we undertake to meet the conditions set out in it. When one party fails to comply with the contract, the other also ceases to be obliged to comply with them. This is not the case with Divine Mercy. The merciful God made a covenant with each of us during our baptism. In his infinite mercy, he freed us from original sin, made us his children and members of the Church. He has left in our hearts an indelible mark of belonging to Christ and continues to bestow his grace.
The sacrament of Baptism is the gate that opens the way to eternal life. By entering this path, we commit ourselves to fidelity to God, to live by faith, hope and love, and to participate in the life of the Church. However, even if we do not honor our baptismal obligations, God remains faithful – faithful to his word, faithful to his love for us.
Over 30 times the Bible uses the word hesed in conjunction with the noun emet (eg, Genesis 24:27; Ps 40:12; 89:15 25). What does it mean? There is no real love and mercy without fidelity. When God says to St. Faustina: “I am Love and Mercy itself”, it means the same as: “I am faithful.”
Do we realize what a grace the sacrament of baptism is for us? Do we thank merciful God for this grace and for His faithfulness despite our infidelities?
Do we celebrate our baptism anniversary?
Could someone who does not know us, looking at our daily life (choices, behaviour) say that we are baptized and live like a true Christians?
“Thank You, O God, for Baptism most Holy,
So great a gift of grace, beyond all knowing,
Bringing us into God’s family,
A new life upon our souls bestowing” (Diary 1286).