The Greatness of God’s Love


In the first reading, we read that St Peter and the apostles are again imprisoned for speaking about Christ. This time, they are miraculously set free and go immediately to the Temple where they again preach openly about Jesus. The text for today ends with Peter giving witness in the Jewish Supreme Court to the resurrection of the Christ. At this stage in the life of the Church, miracles were necessary to attest to the truth that was being taught by the apostles; and the power of miracles was abundantly bestowed upon them.

When we pray to God for recovery from sickness, and God answers our prayers, it is not so that we may enjoy the comforts of life, but so that God may be honored by the service of Him in our life. We must speak to all, for all are concerned. Speak the words of life, which God puts into our mouths! Write the words of life, that God puts into our minds! Speak and attest to all the words of this Divine life, with which our present, earthly life cannot compare! Those who love the Lord never cease to praise him and to tell others of his goodness. Our God is a God of light and truth, and the light needs to shine out and the truth needs to be proclaimed. Sometimes the truth hurts—ourselves or others. We need to be careful in our proclamation, but careful also not to hide the truth when it needs to come out. Just as iron bars did not deter the apostles from declaring the truth, may we always strive to be free from the shackles of what is false, to put God first in our lives, and to be unafraid to announce God’s good news to the world.

In the gospel today we continue reflecting on the meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that He was sent into the world because of the Father’s great love for His creation and that salvation awaits those who believe in Him. The theme is the relationship between God and the world. A few very important statements are made:
God loves the world. He loves it so much that he gave His only Son, who died a terrible death on a cross as proof of that love. God loves the whole world and not just the “good” parts. God’s love is total and unconditional for every one of His creatures. But to experience the life that comes from God through Jesus we have to believe in Him, open ourselves to Him, give our whole selves to Him in deep faith and trust.

God did not send His Son to condemn the world but that it might be saved through Him. We must constantly remind ourselves of this. God’s first and only instinct is to love us and for us to experience that love. We have been made by Him and for Him. He made us to share His life and love forever. It’s easy for some of us to condemn those who sin against us, those who are in prison, those who are poor. Those who don’t wear fancy clothes and jewelleries and sometimes we also condemn people based on the color of their skin. But Jesus doesn’t condemn based on these prejudices; He came to this world not to judge us but to save us. To show us the path of life that leads to salvation. …

Whoever fully believes in Jesus – in heart, word and deed – avoids judgment. But whoever does not believe is already condemned. That does not contradict what we have just said above. Judgment does not come from God but rather from our own choice. As today’s Gospel puts it: “The light came into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light… All who practice evil hate the light; they do not come near it for fear their deeds will be exposed.”We are called on to have belief in the Lord just as Peter and the apostles had but also to let that faith be seen by those with whom we come into contact.

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