March 15, 2021
Happy St. Patrick Day to all our Irish and want to be Irish on the saint’s special day!
We read from sacred scripture: “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.” John 3:16
I am sure that you heard this Scripture passage from John’s Gospel is a familiar one. We often hear it or see it on banners, at large public events such as sports games, we can find someone holding up a sign that says, “John 3:16.” The reason for this is that this passage offers a simple but clear summary of the entire Gospel.
There are basic truths that we can take from this Scripture; let look at them for a moment.
It is noticeably clear that the Father in Heaven loves us. We know this, but we will never fully understand the depth of this truth. God the Father loves us with sincere and perfect love. It is a love that is deeper than anything else we could ever experience in life. His love is perfect. At that, I say wow, for some people this may be hard to comprehend that kind of love, but it really is a total gift that the creator has given to us as his children. The Son meant everything to God the Father, and the gift of Jesus his only Son to us means that the Father gives us everything. He gives His very life to us in the Person of Jesus.
I have a former student of mine, his name is Cole, who just had a son, and this little boy is a total everything to him, Cole’s love for this child is so clear so profound, and in the very fact of life Cole, becoming a father was a most reflective act of love that he shows this son each time I see him in photos. Cole’s life was profoundly changed with his first-born son, his love, his gift from God what a treasure! Does this not sound familiar to each of you as it did Cole and God the Father.
Getting back to “God so love the world, that he sent his only begotten son” the only appropriate response we can make to such a gift is faith. We must believe in the transforming power of accepting the Son into our lives. We must see this gift as a gift that gives us all we need. We must accept the Son into our lives by believing in His mission and giving our lives to Him in return.
The result of receiving Him and giving our lives in return is that we are saved. We will not perish in our sin; rather, we will be given eternal life. There is no other way to salvation than through the Son. We must know, believe, accept, and embrace this truth.
As we move into the last weeks of Lent let us reflect, this week, upon this summary of the entire Gospel. Read it over and over and memorize it. Savor every word and know that in embracing this short passage of Scripture, you are embracing the entire truth of God.
Good and gracious God, Father in Heaven, I thank You for the perfect gift of Christ Jesus, Your Son. By giving Jesus to us, you give us Your very Heart and Soul. May I be open to You more fully and to the perfect gift of Jesus in my life. I believe in You, my God. Please increase my faith and love. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.
Happy St. Patrick Day!
Peace and all good,
Brother Ed Arambasich, OFM