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Discourse with Nicodemus

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REFLECTION

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.

 

REFLECTION

HE GAVE HIS ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON. “Tell the World of His Love” was the theme song for the 1995 World Youth Day in Manila, composed by Trina Belamide and interpreted by Jamie Rivera. The song opens: “For God so loved the world, He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ our Savior, His most precious one.” Clearly, these lines were inspired by the Gospel declaration.

God gave “his only Son,” which is interpreted by the song as “His most precious one.” Bible scholars read this as an implicit reference to the story of Abraham, who was commanded to take his only son Isaac, whom he loved, and offer him as a holocaust to the Lord (cf Gn 22:2, 12). Because Abraham did not withhold his son — who would be, however, spared — his generosity became a blessing to all nations (cf Gn 22:18).

For the evangelist John, Jesus is the greatest sign of God’s love for the world, in God’s giving of his only Son. “Giving” refers not only to the Incarnation (the Word becoming flesh) but also to Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary. While God spared Abraham’s son, God did not spare his own Son. The Father gave his Son “that the world might be saved through him.”

 

“God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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