It’s been a blessed fifty-six weeks since ChampWise first came up and throughout these reflections, the theme has always been inspired by what my Religious Education teacher calls the Gospel-in-a-Nutshell:
“For 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.” (Jn. 3: 16)
This verse, if any, is one that should be read and put to heart by all the faithful in the Church.
According to Theodore Mopsuestia, Bishop, “To show the greatness of the passion, Saint Paul says, “If they had known him, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2: 8). In giving Jesus that title, he wanted to reveal the greatness of the Passion. In the same way, in order to show the lavishness of his love through the sufferings he endured, our Lord very rightly declared: “God gave his only Son.”
Because of this, God’s salvation is a gift that we can’t claim to be our own. We must, in all humility, strive to obey what God requires us to do.
Jesus further said,
“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 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.” (Jn. 3: 17 -21)
This now demands response. The importance of faith and action is brought to the fore. We cannot continue being wanderers, we must resolve to do better. Our faith must be nurtured in order to grow. It must be enriched continuously in order for us to reach the light. The fullness of our sharing in God’s work of salvation requires us to do good and avoid evil as well.
It isn’t enough to avoid evil, but it is equally important to do good. Examples of this are: giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, welcoming the strangers, clothing the naked, caring and visiting the sick and the prisoners. If we look at the list, we are eventually showing love for neighbor, which is putting into concrete reality our own response to God’s redeeming love for us. Did you notice that when we do these, we are already reciprocating God’s love for us? And that we are already in a way, showing love for God?
In this season, let us pray in a special way that the Holy Spirit give us the strength to do good, while avoiding evil, in order to become fine examples of God’s love to others, especially those needing His redemption. May the Holy Spirit give us the special strength to spread and defend the Faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.