See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
(1 John 3:1-3)
3:1 children of God: Believers become sons and daughters of God by the grace of divine generation, which is received by faith (Jn 1:12–13) through the water and Spirit of Baptism (Jn 3:5). Those who are blessed in this way are entitled to God’s love and protection (Jn 16:27; 17:15), empowered to love others as Jesus did (1 Jn 3:16–18; Jn 13:34), and encouraged to direct their hearts, hopes, and prayers to the Father through Christ (Lk 11:1–14; Jn 14:2–3). Note that believers are born of God by grace (1 Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:4), whereas Christ is the “only Son” of the Father by nature (4:9; Jn 1:18; 3:16). Paul implies such a distinction when he describes our sonship in Christ in terms of divine adoption (Gal 4:4–7) (CCC 460, 1692). and so we are: Our dignity as children of God is not in name only. It is the result of truly sharing in his divine nature (1 Jn 3:9; 2 Pet 1:4).
3:2 see him as he is: The glory that awaits believers is nothing less than a direct vision of Christ. John implies in 3:3 what Jesus states explicitly in the Beatitudes: the vision
“The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
What are you known for? A famous story attributed to Gandhi goes something like this. A reporter was interviewing Gandhi and had learned that he read the New Testament every day. So he asked him, “If you read the Bible every day, why haven’t you become a Christian?” Gandhi’s reported reply was, “I would have become one if I had ever met one.”
The implication was clear. Gandhi had never seen a person called a Christian exhibit behavior that matched what he had read in the Bible about Christian’s. So if someone was asking to speak with a Christian, would people point you out because that is what you were known for? That is the lesson for all Christians to take up each day. To have others know Christ because they know us.
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.