2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23; Ps 137:1-6; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21
So far in these Lenten Sundays we have been looking at the Old Testament covenants between God and various key figures of his chosen people like Noah, Abraham, Moses and this week at King David. The final covenant was formed on Golgotha.
This week the gospel of St. John harkens back to the story of the Israelites complaining against God in the desert and snakes biting them. Moses was told to mount a bronze serpent on a pole and whoever looked at it would be healed. Just as Moses did that so must the Son of God be lifted up on a cross to take away the sins of the entire human race. Only God himself could have done that, thus forming the last and final covenant God would make with us. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it but to save it, to take away our sins and bring us into his kingdom of love, forgiveness and peace.
The Light of life
As we approach the sad days of Good Friday, I can go through them with my eyes "on the prize," the resurrected and radiant glory of Jesus Christ in awesome LIGHT. St. John is famous for his "I Am" statements about Jesus. This one of light has 13 references. I have an Easter card of the risen Jesus. It is certainly a very dim expression of what he really is like in his glory, which must be brighter than the sun in our sky.
The Son of God came into the world as its light, Jn 1:3b. His Light shines in the darkness that cannot overcome it, Jn 1:5. "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life," Jn 8:12. In John 12:46, he says, "I came into the world as Light, so that everyone who believes in Me might not remain in darkness." As I take these concepts into my mind and think about them all kinds of electrons go firing in my mind. To think of being in heaven with all the angels and saints basking in the awesome glory of God, must be a very happy and blessed existence.
Getting closer to Jesus
As we think of the wonderful love Jesus has for us we want to get closer to him. So as we look at our lives during Lent we see many things that keep us from getting closer to Jesus. We are invited to work at removing the major obstacles and work on the lesser ones. We can’t do everything at once. Thank God we can work at stages of our Christian growth and development. Let us be better "radiators" of God’s love and mercy.
There are seven other "I AM" statements in St. John. Jesus is the "Fountain of Living Water," the "Bread of Life," the "Gate to heaven," the "Good Shepherd," the "Way, Truth and Life" and the "Resurrection and new Life."
Here is more than the "luck of the Irish":
"May God in His great wisdom and infinite love look down on you always from heaven above.
May He send you good fortune, contentment and peace.
And may all your blessings forever increase,"
In Jesus’ Name I pray.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)