(A commentary on John 3:16-21)
Daily Reflection – 4/14/2021
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. (John 3:16-21)
everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
God loves us so much that he himself died so that we would live forever. He didn’t want to lose anyone of us. The incarnation, life, preaching, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus were all one big rescue mission. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,” St. John continues, “but that the world might be saved through him.”
But despite Jesus’ not coming into the world to condemn it, there is still a condemnation, there’s still a judgment. It’s the condemnation and judgment that happens when we refuse to accept Jesus’ rescue.
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus once again points out that we remain free to accept or reject his offer of friendship, his offer of salvation. He makes it starkly clear: “Whoever does not believe in him has already been condemned.” Salvation depends on God and on us; God has done his part, now we must do ours.
At the moment of death, the choice for light or darkness becomes final and irrevocable. But before that time, God is waiting for us to turn to him. He is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). He shines his light on our sins and brokenness not to humiliate us, but to show us that evil can take root in our lives.
The “wrath” of God means a state of alienation from God, but it’s one brought about not by the act of divine punishment but by the selection of people to live and walk in darkness out of a self-love so strong that it turns on God and as a consequence “hates” his light.
Those who live in the peace of God, on the other hand, believe in Jesus, believe in what he says, choose to align their life to the truth he reveals and come to see and experience all things in his holy light.
The aim of the Christian life, the aim of faith, is to live in communion with Christ who is the truth, to believe in him is to believe in what he says and try with all our might to put what he says into practice. And when we live the truth, we want to live in the light not so that we can show what good Christians we are but so that the Father may be glorified, so that our deeds may be seen as done in God, so that God may get the credit, so that our life may give him witness and glory. God so loved us as to make that possible.
Prayer of The Day
I praise you, Father all-powerful, Christ, Lord and Savior, Holy Spirit of love. You have revealed yourself to me, and you have drawn me to share in your life and your love. Stay near to me, God. You have created me in your image and you have given life to this world because of your love. In your goodness make me an instrument of your mercy.
The words of today’s gospel are so beautiful and give us so much hope. We must remember that even though we can adjust and live of this world, it is not what we were meant for. We were meant to be of the light of Christ and only live in this world. God created us for more, He created us to live in the light. Today, let us reflect on the words from John’s gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”