The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
March 14, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Lent - John 3:14-21
Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.
This Sunday’s gospel, while brief, is one of the most important passages in the Bible. And it is known and valued by most Christians. You might even see it referred to on bumper stickers or on large signs at major sporting events (when fans were once allowed). It begins with the words: God so loved the world …” We instinctively know the rest. And with the Catholic Church having us reread this passage each Lent, we are reminded of its importance.
One way to understand the depth of this passage is to describe some of what the passage rejects. Allow me to suggest a few of them. What first comes to minds is the idea that God is indifferent to what happens in our world. That God does not care about us or our daily lives.
As we learn more about the vastness of the Universe, we might be tempted to conclude that since we Earthlings are but a tiny spec in creation, our smallness may indicate insignificance to God who created such a vast number of stars and planets. We’re too small to even notice, or much less care about.
Or we may think that creation (and we humans) are sort of like a plaything to God. We serve only as entertainment for God. A distraction during the long “days” of eternity. Or that God is basically simply a passive observer of what happens to us, individually or as a group.
In other words, God may exist, but so what?
There are literally countless ways to create some image or descriptions of God, but which one captures the truth about God? God’s attitude toward us. God’s role in our lives. That is where today’s “lesson” can help us.
God loves the world and more specifically, God loves each of us so much that God came to be with us in the person of Jesus Christ. Each person who ever existed or will ever exist is known and loved by God. God wants us to be close in thought and affection, during each day, even each minute. There’s an invitation embedded on these words that are given to us in John’s Gospel. The question then before us is this: Do we really believe and act in accord with their incredible (a good word here) truth?
©David M. Thomas, PhD