For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
Often times at sporting events or other public gatherings you will see people holding up placards with the scriptural reference: John 3:16 “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.” This verse is taken from this Sunday’s Gospel.
While some might choose to argue the point, I think this is one of the most eloquent statements of our Christian faith. Not only does it remind us of God’s abiding and gracious love, but also and just as importantly, it reminds us that God’s love is not limited to this life. God wants us to share in God’s eternal life.
God’s great love for us is the theme that runs through each of our readings this weekend. In addition to our Gospel is also evident in our second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. In this letter we read: “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with God --- by grace you have been saved……….”
This theme of God’s love for us, while finding a slightly different expression in our first reading, is also present there. In that reading from the Second Book of Chronicles, the Israelites were reminded that: “Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them for he had compassion on his people and their dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets……….”
That God loves us, we believe and affirm. This belief is at the core of our faith. The ways and times we experience God’s love and compassion are many and varied. As Christians our challenge is to recognize and be open to God’s love as that love is poured into each of lives.
Questions for reflection and/or discussion:
1. Where/how have you experienced God’s love in your life?
2. Where/how have you rejected the messengers of God’s love and compassion?
3. What does it mean to you that God is rich in mercy?