To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Chr 36:14-17,19-23; Eph 2:4-10;Jn 3:14-21
made us in God's image and likeness and we have been repaying the compliment ever
since.” This statement of a wit is not far from the truth. We continue to
fashion God according to the smallness of our minds. The great mystics of many
religions realized this and so when they speak of God, they realize that, even
after all is said, there will still be much left to be said. John does the same
in his Gospel.
cautions the readers of his Gospel in 21:25: “But there are also many other
things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down…” Yet, he does
speak of the revelation that God makes in Jesus, and of the blessing we have
received in this revelation, because it gives us insight into who God is.
text of today begins with what is regarded as the first of the three passion,
resurrection, and ascension predictions in the Gospel of John. Jesus will be
lifted up / exalted, just as Moses lifted up / exalted the bronze serpent in
the wilderness. The term hupsoo can mean ‘lift up’ or ‘exalt’. Although the
word might indicate the physical act of ‘lifting up’ the cross beam at the time
of his crucifixion, it might also mean his ‘exaltation into glory’. Thus, in
his crucifixion, Jesus will also be exalted, yet there is no exaltation apart
from the crucifixion. The consequence of believing in Jesus lifted up/exalted
is eternal life, which here means a life lived in the constant presence of God.
Jesus dies, but only to be raised to life and ascend to the Father.
unconditional love of God was made visible and tangible in Jesus, God’s Son
come into the world. The Son, given as a gift of God, was accepted by some but
rejected by others. God sent his Son so that all may have eternal life. The
primary purpose of sending the Son was to save, not to condemn. Yet, every
person is free to decide whether he/she wants to accept this free gift.
Acceptance of the gift of the Son of God means salvation; rejection means that
one condemns oneself.
people of Israel were freed from exile in Babylon, by Cyrus, the Persian king.
After being freed, they became bound again, bound by their own desires and
selfishness. They have in Jesus salvation in every sense of the word. It is a
salvation achieved through the self-sacrifice of Jesus, the only Son of God.
Because of this, all people everywhere can have an even better life than the
Israelites had under David and Solomon. The Lord’s song can continue to be sung
in this new land and this new life. People will not need to remember Zion.
There will no longer be exile or captivity. There will no longer be any
mourning, weeping, or sorrow. The coming of God’s Son has turned all sorrow
into joy and every tear has been wiped away.
insight is extremely important for our lives as well, because it means that, if
we accept it, our lives will never be the same again. God could have, like in
the past, sent yet another messenger or even another message. Yet, he opted for
the most extreme of measures when he sent a part of himself. It is even more
stunning that this Son was sent, not to judge, but to draw people to God
through love and forgiveness. The primary task of Jesus, as his name suggests,
was to be salvation to all. The all-inclusive nature of this salvation, and its
availability to the whole human race, is something that is possible only for
not everyone accepts this salvation offered by the Son. Though the light has
come, some preferred the dark. The reason why they preferred the dark is
because they did not want either their deeds or their person to be exposed. Fear
ruled their hearts. Those who opted for the light opted for freedom
idea is reiterated in the second reading of today in which the Christians at
Ephesus are given an insight into the unconditional love of God which, because
it came when they were sinners, proves that God’s love is a gift and not
something earned. To show that the gift has been received and not spurned, they
are called to live lives worthy of this great gift or God’s love.
readings give us an insight into who God is in Jesus. They state simply that
God is, and will always be, unconditional, magnanimous, and bountiful love.
This calls us to a new hope and a new courage. They say to us that, even when
we are in extremely difficult situations and there seems to be no light at the
end of the tunnel, God continues to be there with us, walking ahead of us,
guiding our path and lighting our way. They say to us that, at moments when we
think all is lost and we have no hope, we must not give up or give in. They say
to us that, even at those times when we cannot fully understand why things
happen the way they do and we are tempted to through in the towel, God
continues to offer hope and consolation.