Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love." - St. Augustine (Wednesday, 2nd Week of Easter, John 3:16-21)

God so loved the world that he gave
his only-begotten Son,so that everyone
who believes in him might not perish

but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world
might be saved through him.
whoever believes in him
will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe
has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name
of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things
hates the light and does not
come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth
comes to the light,
so that his works
may be clearly seen as done in God.


* * * * * * * *

Today’s gospel is the deepest expression of a Christian’s faith, not only in God, but also in himself or herself.

There are times when the gospel challenges us. There are occasions when it admonishes and warns us. But there are also moments when it comforts, strengthens, and encourages us.

The passage today, from the gospel of John is one of the most beloved passages in the whole of the New Testament. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life”.At the heart of this passage is the message of the vastness of God’s love. It’s the whole world that God so loves.

It ‘s not just a nation; it’s not just good people; it ‘s not only people who loved him. It’s the whole world. And this includes the unlovable and the unlovely, the lonely who have no one else to love them; it includes the saintly among us, but also the sinners among us. All are included in this vast and inclusive love of God.

As Augustine said: "God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love." There are times when the gospel we hear at mass reminds us of our shortcomings and makes us ask God for strength in living our faith commitment. There’s none of that in today’s gospel, only a gentle reminder that whoever we are, whatever we have turned out to be, God’s acceptance and care for us will always remain constant.

It’s the deepest expression of the Christian’s faith, which says, God will always love me, no matter what.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)