God So Loved

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.
(John 3:16-21)

Scripture Study

16:13 he will guide you: The work of the Spirit counteracts the work of Satan. The former discloses the full meaning of the gospel (14:26); the latter spreads deception and falsehood throughout the world (8:44). The point here is that the Spirit continues the teaching mission of Jesus to bear witness to the truth (8:31–32; 18:37; CCC 687). ● Vatican II outlined the doctrine of magisterial infallibility, meaning that the pope alone or the pope and the bishops united with him are divinely protected from teaching error when they define matters pertaining to faith and morals (Lumen Gentium, 25). The guidance of the Spirit is Christ’s guarantee that the gospel will not be corrupted, distorted, or misunderstood by the ordained shepherds of the Church during her earthly pilgrimage (CCC 768, 889–92).

16:15 declare it to you: The Spirit gives us a share in the divine life and authority of Jesus (6:63; Rom 8:14–16; CCC 690).

16:18 A little while: The disciples will again see Jesus at his Resurrection (20:19–30), and after his Ascension they will await his visible return in glory (Acts 1:9–11).

16:21 her hour has come: The hour of Christ’s Passion is compared to the pangs of childbirth. The disciples, like a woman in labor, will experience extreme distress that soon gives way to joy when Christ is reborn to a new life on Easter morning. ● The Prophets similarly compare times of divine testing and judgment to the onset of labor pain (Is 13:6–8; 26:17; Mic 4:10).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, our Gospel passage today includes one of Jesus’ best-known and best-loved sayings. The Lord is speaking to Nicodemus and he tells him, “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.”

Why does the Son come? Because God is angry? Because God wants to lord it over us? Because God needs something? No, he comes purely out of love, out of God’s desire that we flourish: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

It is not in order to work out his anger issues that the Father sends the Son, but that the justice of the world might be restored. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s salvific intent, displayed throughout the Old Testament.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.