Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Deus Caritas Est

First Reading: Acts 5:17-26
Psalm: Ps 34:2-9
Gospel: Jn 3:16-21


Today's gospel reading is arguably the best known passage in the New Testament (though 1 Cor 13 might be a contender). Rather than comment on today's gospel, I feel it best to let the message speak for itself:
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
This is the core of all Christian teaching. God loves us. He loves us to a level that we cannot imagine. Our hope, our faith and even our very existence rest on this solid rock of truth. It is a universal constant older than the universe itself. Nothing we ever do will stop God from loving us.

Take some time out today to ponder God's love for you. Go to a quiet place by yourself for about fifteen minutes and think about God's love for you and your love for God. If you don't believe in God, or are having a particularly difficult time with faith, think about what it means for you if the message of John 3:16 is true.

Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for the gift of this day. The universe and all of creation is subject to Your almighty power. Yet You chose to love us, though we did nothing to earn Your favor. Help us to always remember that Your love for us is more powerful than anything else. We pray especially for our brothers and sisters who do not believe or who are lukewarm in their belief. May their hearts be softened through the knowledge of Your goodness and the power of Your Holy Spirit. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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