Saturday, 21 March 2009

Jesus the light of the world (Jn 3:14-21)

Today's gospel contains probably one of the best known Gospel passages in the world. We have seen it on the cover of one of the albums of U2, and regularly see it in the crowd at a soccer match etc.: Jn 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (Joh 3:16 RSV) An amazing passage indeed, the core of our hope, the core of our salvation...

However, I want to look at a bit a different aspect of the reading this Sunday. I was at the Lectio Divina group last Thursday here in the priory. When we read the first readings the following fragment stood really out for me: "The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets" (2Ch 36:15-16 RSV)

Especially now, I guess, with all the controversial messages we read on the front pages of the papers regarding the actions of our Pope... I will not go into the details about my opinion on the selective interpretations of the media, but just want to link it in with the reading above. God is sending messengers all the time to his people, He sends them messages because he has compassion because they are lost in the dark, but they ridicule them, they mock them and despise them. His messengers are bringing the Truth, but they do not like it, because "men loved darkness rather than light (Joh 3:19 RSV)", "for every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (Joh 3:20 RSV)".

Jesus is the light of the world: "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (Joh 8:12 RSV). I am a herald of this, as since I came to know God things around me really started to make much more sense: "If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world (Joh 11:9 RSV)".

In the book of Samuel we can read that God says to Samuel "for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me" (1Sa 8:7 RSV), and in my opinion, so it exactly seems to be in the world. The people have not just rejected the messengers, but have put God aside especially in the Western World.

God is love and God has fully revealed himself through His only Son "not to condemn the world", but out of love, so "that the world might be saved through him" (Joh 3:17 RSV). However, "He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (Joh 3:18 RSV). God is ready to open us with open arms, but He cannot force us to come to Him, it is our own decision.

A week and a half ago we heard the gospel in Luke about Lazarus and the rich man, where the rich man begs Abraham to sent a Lazarus to his brothers to warn them, but Abraham replies "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." (Luk 16:29 RSV). God has fully revealed Himself to us, though His Son. This weeks gospel tells of His love for us, where He give His only Son, so we might be saved. All the signs are there, if only we open our hearts and welcome God into our lives. If we would only embrace the offer of His love, if we encounter the event, a person who is Jesus Christ, if only we would step into the light so we can see clearly what it is all about... only them would we find happiness, only then can we experience true love!

Again, I don't intent the above to be a homily or talk, but just some reflections of myself, which might help you in your own meditations. Last week I promised to but a bit more preparation in the reflection.... but I don't known if this is what anybody was waiting for!

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