Wednesday of Week 2 of Easter – Gospel

Commentary on John 3:16-21

Today we continue reflecting on the meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus.  The dialogue has given way to a theological reflection in which the words of Jesus and of the author cannot easily be distinguished.

The theme is the relationship between God and the world.  A few very important statements are made:

  • God so loved 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 the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world 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.
  • Those who believe in him – in heart, word and deed – avoid judgement. 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 has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.

It is not God who abandons or dumps us – it is we who abandon him.  We are our own judges when we deliberately prefer darkness to light.  We put ourselves beyond the reach of his love, which is there and only waiting for us to turn back.  On the contrary, 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.

It is not God’s judgment that we are to fear. Rather it is our own choices which can bring us closer to him or away from him; it is our own choice whether we wish to live always in the light or choose darkness.

It might be good for us to reflect today on those dark corners of our life – present and past – which we keep hidden from others.  Why do we hide these things?  The person who lives in the light, the person of integrity and wholeness, has nothing whatever to hide.

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