Wednesday, April 15 ~ Second Week in the Season of Easter
Holy Gospel: John 3:16-21 God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Meditation: Do you know the love which surpasses all else? A true lover holds nothing back but gives the best that can be offered, even everything in their possession for the beloved. God proved his love for us by giving us the best he had to offer – his only begotten Son who freely gave himself as an offering to God for our sake and as the atoning sacrifice for our sin and the sin of the world. Abraham’s willing sacrifice of his only son, Isaac prefigures the perfect offering and sacrifice of God’s beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This passage in the gospel of John tells us of the great breadth and width of God’s love. Not an excluding love for just a few or for a single nation, but a redemptive love that embraces the whole world, and a personal love for each and every individual whom God has created. God is a loving Father who cannot rest until his wandering children have returned home to him. Saint Augustine says, God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love. God gives us the freedom to choose whom and what we will love.
Prayer: As we recall year by year the mysteries by which, through the restoration of its original dignity, human nature has received the hope of rising again, we earnestly beseech your mercy, Lord, that what we celebrate in faith we may possess in unending love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Jesus shows us the paradox of love and judgment. We can love the darkness of sin and unbelief or we can love the light of God’s truth, beauty, and goodness. This all takes place by the choices we make – our “free will.” If our love is guided by what is true, and good and beautiful then we will choose for God and love him above all else. What we love shows what we prefer. Do you love God above all else? Does he take first place in your life, in your thoughts, and actions? Are your choices guided by the love of God? If not, why not?