TRINITY SUNDAY: MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY. “GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD” (Jn 3:16-18)
DAILY MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY:
“GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD”
Gospel of Trinity Sunday, Year A.
God so loved the world that he gave his only 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 Son of God.
GOSPEL COMMENTARY FROM THE NAVARRE BIBLE, COMMENTARY TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN (WITH PERMISSION).
These words, so charged with meaning, summarize how Christ’s death is the supreme sign of God’s love for men. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son’ for its salvation.
- All our religion is a revelation of God’s kindness, mercy and love for us. ‘God is love’ (1Jn 4:16), that is, love poured forth unsparingly.
- All is summed up in this supreme truth, which explains and illuminates everything. The story of Jesus must be seen in this light. ‘(He) loved me’, St Paul writes. Each of us can and must repeat it for himself— ‘He loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Gal 2; 20)” (St. Pope Paul VI, Homily on Corpus Christi, 13 June 1976).
Christ’s self-surrender is a pressing call to respond to his great love for us:
- “If it is true that God has created us, that he has redeemed us, that he loves us so much that he has given up his only-begotten Son for us (Jn 3:16), that he waits for us — every day! — as eagerly as the father of the prodigal son did (cf. 1.k 15:11-32), how can we doubt that he wants us to respond to him with all our love? The strange thing would be not to talk to God, to draw away and forget him, and busy ourselves in activities which are closed to the constant promptings of his grace” (St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 251).
- “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This…. is why Christ the Redeemer ‘fully reveals man to himself’. If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity…. The one who wishes to understand himself thoroughly… must, with his unrest and uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself. How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he ‘gained so great a Redeemer’, (Roman Missal, Exultet at Easter Vigil), and if God ‘gave his only Son’ in order that man ‘should not perish but have eternal life’…
- “Increasingly contemplating the whole of Christ’s mystery, the Church knows with all the certainty of faith that the Redemption that took place through the Cross has definitively restored his dignity to man and given back meaning to his life in the world, a meaning that was lost to a considerable extent because of sin. And for that reason, the Redemption was accomplished in the paschal mystery, leading through the Cross and death to Resurrection” (St. John Paul II, Redemptor hominis, 10).
Jesus demands that we have faith in him as a first prerequisite to sharing in his love. Faith brings us out of darkness into the light, and sets us on the road to salvation.
- “He who does not believe is condemned already” (v. 18).
- “The words of Christ are at once words of judgment and grace, of life and death. For it is only by putting to death that which is old that we can come to newness of life. Now, although this refers primarily to people, it is also true of various worldly goods which bear the mark both of man’s sin and the blessing of God… No one is freed from sin by himself or by his own efforts, no one is raised above himself or completely delivered from his own weakness, solitude or slavery; all have need of Christ, who is the model, master, liberator, saviour, and giver of life. Even in the secular history of mankind the Gospel has acted as a leaven in the interests of liberty and progress, and it always offers itself as a leaven with regard to brotherhood, unity and peace” (Vatican II, Ad gentes, 8).
We give up soda, cakes and ice cream to bring down our sugar level. We sacrifice some more sleeping time to go out early to exercise and be fit. We give up Netflix and computer games to learn more about our Catholic faith online and praying the rosary with the family. We sacrifice socializing to study for the Board exams so that we can jumpstart our careers. We swallow our pride to heal a hurt relationship. We sacrifice our ego so that we can live peacefully with those around us. We give up some love now so that our children will learn to love and live the right values in life. That’s tough love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” He is a tough father, sacrificing His only son. He gave up something to gain something greater. And what is that? To save the world from plunging deeper into sin and to give us eternal life. His act was in fact an unselfish one to tell us that He loves us and He cares for us. Let me ask you: what have you given up to gain something greater?
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