For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…
Fourth Sunday of Lent – John 3
“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.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
You see the sign everywhere, held up at football games, written on athlete’s faces, nailed to telephone poles, carried on placards, etc. The sign simply states: 3:16. Without asking, without googling it, must of us know what it means. Our Spirit is instantly moved because deep down we know the power behind those three numbers.
The passage from today’s Gospel, John 3:16, speaks our truth in 135 characters. We can say a lot in just a handful of characters and “3:16” proves that. There are many other passages throughout Scripture that convey the ultimate gift God has given to us, but this one continuously captures the hearts and minds of people all over the world. What is it about this particular verse that grabs us so powerfully? When we unpack it, it becomes obvious. In this one verse we have the incarnation story, God’s gift to mankind, and the complete story about love and eternity. God not only sent His only begotten Son, He sent Him as one of us to live and die on earth with the sole purpose of saving us. We did nothing to deserve this gift from God either; it came solely because of His great love for us. And what do we need to do to accept this gift? We are to believe and then take up our cross and follow Him. It is no wonder why these words, these numbers, appear so often and have changed so many lives around the world.
Day 22 Lenten Meditation
When was the last time you saw “3:16” posted somewhere? Did anything run through your mind when you saw it? Was it a good reminder for you or did you roll your eyes as if to say, I don’t need a reminder of what my Savior did for me? Or maybe you were too busy to even notice. The next time you see it, pay close attention to how it moves your Spirit. God could very well be trying to get your attention in that moment. Pause for a minute and think about what the words of John 3:16 mean for your life. Make note of how this influences your behavior, your choices and your attitude. Make no mistake, whenever and wherever you see “3:16” … it is not a coincidence.
Additional Readings Today
John 3:14-21; Eph. 2:4-10; 2 Chr. 36:14-16
Heavenly Father, You sent Your Only Begotten Son to free us from sin and death. Help us to better understand today the expression: “May we die with Him so that we may also rise with Him.” Oh Incarnate God, forgive us for not taking the necessary time to reflect on the enormity of Your gift to us – redemption, salvation and eternal life. Even though we did nothing to earn it, You did all this out of love for us. Help us to be worthy stewards of Your love and Your message in the world. We pray this all in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghose. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Prayerfully meditate on John 3:16 for an uninterrupted 5 minutes. Then tell God all the reasons you are grateful for Him.
“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise” –Saint Clement.
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