SUNDAY REFLECTION - Sunday, March 11, 2018

John 3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

John 3:16   “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3:17   “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
Thought for the day
What does it mean to be saved? We have the secular sense of being res- cued or spared somehow. The root meaning of the word in Greek and Latin is to be healed. So, the beginning is some recognition of need, of something fractured, unwell in my life. It includes faith in God who wants us to be both whole and holy, fully alive. The big “sickness” is death itself— from which we are saved/healed through God’s love to us in the lifting up of Jesus in death into resurrection.
Kieran O'Mahony -
Stacks Image 295

This is not just one more saying, words that could be removed without any signficant change. It is the statement that reflects the core of the Christian faith.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” This love of God is the source and the foundation of our hope. “God loves the world” He loves it just as it is: incomplete and uncertain, full of conflicts and contradictions, capable of the best and the worst. This world does not go on its way alone, lost and forsaken. God envelops it with his love all around. This has extremely important implications.

First, Jesus is the gift that God has made to the world, not only to Christians. Researchers can argue endlessly about many aspects of the historical figure; theologians may go on developing ingenious theories; but only those who see Jesus Christ as the great gift of God will go on discovering in all his deeds, with love and joy, the closeness of God to every human being.

Second, the purpose that justifies the existence of the church and its presence in the world is to remember the love of God. Vatican II has often stressed this: “The Church is sent by Christ to reveal and communicate the love of God to all people.” There is nothing more important: the main task we have is to communicate the love of God to every human being.

Third, the evangelist says that God gave the world this great gift, which is Jesus “not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” It is very dangerous to build a pastoral programme around denouncing and condemning the modern world. We can only call one another to conversion with hearts full of love for all. If people feel condemned by God, we will not be communicating the message of Jesus but something else: perhaps our own resentment and anger.

Fourth, in these times in which everything seems confused, uncertain and discouraging, nothing should stop us from bringing a little love into the world. Do no wait for anything. Why? Aren’t there good men and women among us who will bring love, friendship, compassion, justice, empathy and help to those who suffer? People like these will build the church of Jesus, a church of love.
from Michel de Verteuil

Lord, we would like to be a source of life for others
without costs to ourselves.
We that you for true leaders we have met
who knew the law of life as Jesus did,
that we must make ourselves vulnerable,
be open to failure and humiliation,
allowing ourselves to be lifted up
asMoses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
if our followers are to find life in us.

Lord, we pray for teachers in schools,
church communities, families.
Remind them that you have sent them into their communities,
not to condemn
but so that through them their charges might be saved.