Daily Reflection
April 21st, 2004
Tom Bannantine, S.J.
Chaplain of School of Nursing
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Today’s gospel reading from St. John is one of my favorites.  In the beautiful opening line of this gospel reading I always feel that the love of God is directed at me personally.  Each of us who believe can rightfully take these words as addressed to ourselves.  God did love me and you and all believers enough to send his son to the world.   Jesus carried out the plan for the salvation of each of us by his life, death, and resurrection.   His life here on earth is the embodiment of God’s love for each of us.
In return for his love, God asks that we believe in him.  He asks us to follow his commandments, his teaching in the bible and through the Church.  And he asks us to believe and follow his son Jesus.  For me, the following of Christ is not too much to ask in return for the love of almighty God.  And yet as St. John further tells us and as we well know, some people do not believe.  They either reject or are indifferent to God’s love.  As St. John says, they prefer darkness to light.  For us who prefer the light, the task is clear.  It is to believe in God and to show our belief in God by the way we live. 

If we choose to believe in God and follow his commandments and teaching, it seems to me that St. John is a wonderful model to follow.  St. John’s gospel is often called the gospel of love.  He makes love the subject of much of what he tells us about Jesus.  His opening line in today’s gospel epitomizes the theme of  the whole gospel.  In these few well-chosen words St. John presents for our contemplation the greatest act of love ever recorded.  The implication of the words: “he gave his only begotten Son” is profound.  For we who believe, these words convey a love that is almost beyond our understanding.   We look to St. John and the other apostles and all the saints who have gone before us.  We look to them for the example of  their belief and their fidelity in following Christ.  We seek to learn from them how to imitate their example, and how to be true believers.  

In this Easter season we rejoice with the risen Christ.  God’s plan for our salvation has been carried out.  His wonderful act of love for us has been completed with the resurrection of Christ.  Now it is up to us to thank God for his great love.  We have worked at the reform and renewal of our lives during Lent.  Now it is up to us to show him by the lives we lead that we are indeed grateful to God.  Let us pray that our lives may truly signify our love of God and our thanks for his great love of us. 

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