18 Apr 2012

Jn 3:16

Jn 3:16 is one of the most quoted scripture verses of the bible. It is often seen in placards and banners at sporting events or on bumper stickers on cars. "For this is how God loved the world: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). A comforting scripture verse, yet, read in the context of today's Gospel (cf. Jn 3:16-21), it also issues a challenge. The ordo for today's readings Mass contextualises it for us:

"God's love calls for a response of faith in Jesus. This faith results in making the truth part of one's living. To refuse faith is to be self-condemned" (Liturgical Calendar for Ireland 2012, April 18th)

As Catholics we believe that our faith must be expressed in good works. St. James warns us that faith which is not expressed in the way we live our lives is a dead faith (cf. Jm 2:17). St. James comes to the conclusion that "It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith" (Jm 2:18).

In the New Translation of the Roman Missal, one of the prayers over the assembly for the concluding rites is: "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life". If we express our faith by living good Christian lives to the best of our abilities and ask God's forgiveness when we fail then we will be glorifying God by our lives.

Let every thought, word and deed of ours this day express our belief in, and give glory to, the Blessed Trinity...

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