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20180311 - Fourth Sunday of Lent

posted Mar 5, 2018, 9:37 PM by Domain Admin

Gospel of John 3:14-21

Erin's Reflection

This is probably the most quintessential bible verse that Catholics and even non-Catholics are familiar with and probably the most recited, but I’ll be honest and sometimes hearing this reading just goes in one ear and out the other. When someone begins with, “For God so loved the world…” I immediately think to myself, Yup, John 3:16 again.

BUT HOW CAN I BRUSH OFF THE FACT THAT GOD LOVED US SO MUCH HE SENT DOWN HIS SON WHO GAVE UP HIS OWN LIFE FOR US? HOW?

And I shouldn’t. As repetitive as this passage can get, it is still a message full of power and LOVE and hope. Some people grew up fearing God, which I did when I was really young, but I learned to grow up loving Him. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and died for our sins so that the world might be saved through Him. Our faith teaches us that if we believe in Him we will be saved and have eternal life.

By that same token, our faith teaches us that if we do not believe in God we will not be saved. Scary to think that. I didn’t go to church all the time growing up. It wasn’t until 8th grade when I asked my mom I wanted to learn more about my faith and asked her to sign me up for CCD. Time and time again I always wondered if God was real or not and sometimes I doubted that he existed because of all the negative things happening in my life. God would come and go in my life and I didn’t always believe in Him. However I was pretty sure I wanted to go to Heaven because I certainly did NOT want to go to Hell.

Then I gained a better understanding of where God is present in my daily life and that is through the people that I love. It is through the good works that my family taught me to do. The gospel goes on about how God sheds light to His people so that we may do good in the world, and when people turn to darkness they also turn to evil. In simplest terms, light = good and dark = bad. Turning to darkness doesn’t always mean physical violence or hate, but it could also mean cyberbullying, leaving people out, being selfish and ungrateful, or being in unhealthy relationships. And I’ll admit I am guilty for doing all of the above. But the amazing thing that our faith tells us is that no matter how broken and imperfect we are, no matter how many times we can turn to darkness, Jesus will always be there to shine His light on us so that we can turn to Him. He forgives us time and time again because HE LOVES US. And that alone is truly amazing.

So instead of acting like a robot every time I hear this passage, I remind myself to listen to the gospel intentionally and really hear the message, not just recite it in my head like I passed a “Name This Passage” Quiz. It gives us an understanding as to why we live our faith the way that we do and it’s simple-- God loves us, so we should love and serve others, for others. Just like in the last verse, “But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”


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