Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
Everyone's favorite quotation from the Gospel of St. John is the focus of the Gospel reading for today's liturgy. 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 (John 3:16). Indeed, it would be difficult to ignore the consolation that this statement brings whenever we consider God's love for us.
At the same time, it must be pointed out that reading this single verse of the Gospel can also be misleading. The following verses clarify John 3:16 and makes a very important point: 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 (John 3:17-18).
Once again, it is important to point out that the Gospel of St. John indicts sinners for one sin only; namely, failure to believe. Written decades after St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, the Gospel makes the same point that St. Paul makes throughout his writings. We are saved through our faith. Once again, we need to ask ourselves if we really believe in the Resurrection. This article of faith is the very foundation of Christianity. Without faith in Jesus and in his Resurrection, we are lost.