April 24, 2013

The Gospel for Today

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Jn. 12: 44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

Reflection (Sem. Rolly Teng)

As I reflected on today’s Gospel, I was moved when Jesus said, “I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.”   Truly Jesus’ mission was not to condemn the world or men but rather to save us from our sinfulness. He was sent by the Father not to show to us how sinful we are but God the Father sent His beloved son because of His love for all of us.

I remember one of the subjects in theology entitled Creation and Sin; we discussed why God created the world. Michael Schmaus, the author of the book we used said, “God as perfectly good simply wanted the creatures to share in his being, wisdom, and goodness. God has no other motive in creating the world but love.” God wished everything He has created would be good. God created the world out of His love for us. There was no other intention when God created the world.

Perhaps God the father sent His beloved Son because of His love to us. As we all know it is very painful for a father to be separated from his son. And it was also painful on the part of the son if he will be separated from his family. It would really be difficult to go out of our comfort zone in life.  Did you think the life of the people working overseas is easy? No! I know it was difficult to live far from family, far from country because I personally saw it when I was sent abroad for exposure. But God the Father and Jesus did it for all of us because of their love. They chose to suffer, for us to be saved from our sinfulness. Jesus took the form of a slave to live with us. Jesus was the true mediator between us and His Father in heaven. Jesus needed to be fully human and fully divine for us to be saved. Jesus died on the cross to pay the ransom because of our sinfulness.

I believe this is the invitation of the Gospel today for all of us. First, we thank God for sending His beloved Son. Second, let us imitate Jesus, because Jesus chose to die for the sake of others because of love. Lastly, we pray that God will continue to grant us courage and strength to face all the difficulties we have in life, because Jesus came not to condemn us but rather to save us. Amen.

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