The Divine Mercy and the free will of man
The Divine Mercy is the gift granted by the Father to all the sons who turn to Him with a sincere heart. If on one hand, the Father is always ready to forgive (Ps 85:15), on the other hand, the sons must be in the condition to receive His forgiveness.
The Father’s love, who is Person in the Son (Jn 1:14), precedes the man (Jn 15:9). Divine Mercy is in fact already manifested when the divine Spirit accompanies (Mt 5) man in understanding the error and then helps him to sincerely promise not to make mistakes again (Jn 8:11).
The difference is not therefore determined by the Father’s infinite Love (Ps 99:5; 105:1; 106:1; 117:1-4; 117:29; 135:1-26) but rather by man, in his free choice (Gal 5:13; 1Pt 2:16) and will (Mt 7:21; 1Pt 4:2). The Divine Spirit is always ready to come to the aid of man and woman, created in the image and likeness of God (Gn 1:27); but it is their behaviour (Lk 15:21) that ultimately determines the judgment of the Father, which can be salvation or condemnation.
Great is the difference between those who live a correct and holy life, who wish to receive the benevolent gaze of the Father and live to deserve their place in Paradise (Jn 14:2), compared to those who, whether for ingratitude towards the Father or for personal egoism, live a dissolute life and fully devoted in not doing any good. In the latter case, if they don’t repent and don’t change their way of life, they will not be in the condition to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. And the Father, although not rejoicing but rather suffering for this human condition, respects the granted freedom, which brings human beings to proceed towards good or evil. And whoever perseveres in evil, will be condemned to hell for eternity (Mt 8:12; 13:42.50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk 13:28).
In fact, as the Father gives the reward to those who, in His name, have lived and live a righteous and correct life as the many saints and martyrs of the past and the present, so He applies His merciful justice to those who, in personal freedom, have lived and live their life in a dissolute way (Jn 5:29), doing what is bad in His eyes (1Ki 16:30).
This is what the apostle Judas did; although called by Jesus to be holy, he allowed the diabolical spirit to enter more and more his heart and to do what is bad, reaching to betray the Son of God (Mk 14:21; Lk 22:22).
At the last supper, on Holy Thursday, the outpouring of Jesus’ mercy was total, up to bending over to cleanse and save that heart already fallen prey to the diabolical spirit. In the moment of the washing of the feet (Jn 13:5), in fact, Jesus lingered for a long time with Judas, seeking his gaze, his repentance (Jn 13:11). But Judas’ personal will and freedom led him to reject the merciful love of Jesus, who couldn’t do anything because that “self” didn’t want to. And Mary too could nothing, though in Her infinite mercy, She was ready to forgive Judas, despite his betrayal, as She did with Peter, who wept over his error, seeking and finding the forgiveness of Mary who, in Her infinite mercy, cleansed and purified him.
The Divine Mercy was unable to save Judas because Judas, in his freedom, did not want to be healed by Jesus’ love, preferring to remain in his haughtiness. And in His merciful justice, the Father condemned Judas for eternity (Mt 26:24).
This was also the case for one of the two thieves crucified with Jesus, because although guilty for having committed various crimes, rather than asking for forgiveness, preferred to accuse and insult God (Lk 23:39). And the Father, in His merciful justice, judged and condemned him, differently from the other thief who, repenting for his mistakes (Lk 23:41), appealed to the mercy of Jesus (Lk 23:42) and immediately (Lk 23:43) was saved.
God the Father created man and woman (Gn 2:22), giving them the greatest gift: freedom (Sir 15:14). And so, by virtue of the gift received, man and woman are free to remain faithful to God (Jn 8:32; Gal 5:1) and to His Commandments (Dt 7:9; Mk 12:29-31) or not (Sir 15:15). Therefore it will not be God’s judgment to determine man’s eternal life or death, but it’s the behaviour of man, having been created free and re-generated in Christ (Tt 3:5), that will determine the Father’s judgment and consequently his own salvation or his own condemnation (Sir 15:17), because the Father is Good and Holy, Merciful but Just. And by the Merciful Justice, He will judge all peoples, with truth (Ps 95:13), so that they all may deserve, by virtue of their own free and personal choices, to live Paradise (Rev 2:7; 20:5b-6) or to live Hell, for eternity (Rev 20:14b-15).