Speak Lord: Speak, God of love.

Revelation John Reinhardt

The Gospel at today’s Mass – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – recapitulates themes from the first and second readings and puts them in the context of God’s love. Salvation on a cosmic scale happens because of God’s love.

 Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven;
and the Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.’

John 3:13-17

If God did all this to save the world, then how much indeed did and how much God still does love the world.

If God loves the world, that too is surely our call, as God’s people called to share in his holiness.

  • How much do you love the world?
  • How do you show it?
  • What challenges do you face? And helps you in facing down those challenges?

Photograph is of a work, Revelation by John Reinhardt, displayed in St Trôphime, Arles. The symbols of the Light, Cross, World, Word – pages from scripture and paint signifying blood – play out against one another. Photograph (c) Allen Morris, 2014

 

Speak Lord: God’s love for the world – and us

Image

In an exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus which occurs early in the gospel of John – and which is the Gospel for Mass today, Trinity Sunday – Jesus speaks of the Father’s love for the world. So great is his love that he sends his only Son, gives his only Son, for our salvation.

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’
John 3:16-18

Someone else might say to Nicodemus, ‘do you know what I am doing for you?, but Jesus witnesses to the love of his Father, and for himself is content to live out that love for us.

  • Where and how do you give of yourself?
  • Why do you do this?
  • How are you saved by Jesus? When?
  • What form does the condemnation of ‘those who refuse to believe’ take?

Image from NASA, in public domain. http://www.nasa.gov/