by Fr. Tommy Lane
“God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) God created the world good. During the creation account in Gen 1 we are told each day that what God created was good, and Gen 1 concludes by telling us that God looked at everything he had made and found it very good. But creation was not the full story. Creation at the beginning already awaited Christ because creation came into being through Christ. John 1:1 tells us everything was created through the Word, Christ: “All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.” Created mankind awaited redemption, so today’s Gospel says, “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.” Christ is not just restoring mankind but leading us to our fulfillment.
Mankind needs Christ. We would be incomplete without Christ. We love the world and because we love the world we want to bring Christ to the world because we know the world needs Christ. The Father loved the world and gave his only Son. We love the world and want to bring Christ to the world because we know the world will not find happiness or peace any other way. Even though the world does not know it, Christ is the One whom the world seeks.
We heard in the Gospel, “the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light.” (John 3:19) The Sadducees in the first reading (Acts 5:17-26) preferred darkness to the light of Christ. They had the apostles put in prison but an angel let them out by night and told them to preach in the temple. The apostles had been put in prison for preaching and now the angel frees them and instead of telling them to hide, tells them to go and preach again, and in the most public place, the temple, because the world and the temple need Christ. We love the world and our vocation is also to bring Christ to the world even when the world prefers darkness to light. The angel told the apostles to “tell the people everything about this life.” (Acts 5:20) In other words, tell the people all about Christ, how they need Christ, and that Christ is the fulfillment of their hopes and expectations, how Christ continues now in the Church, in its sacraments, in its community and the place to meet Christ now is in the Church. “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.”
© Fr. Tommy Lane 2015