(Jn 3, 16-21)
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.
Genuine love is so powerful that it can move us to acts of selflessness and great sacrifice. And our God is not immune to this power of love. He so loved the world that He gave up what is most precious to Him. His only begotten Son so that the world will be saved. Through this divine sacrifice, the world was redeemed and transformed. This tell us that love is not just a feeling. It is followed up by actions that are by nature sacrificial. Because to love is to forget oneself and put the good of the beloved as your own good.
And so this sacrificial and salvific love of God demands a response. The gospel say that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved. It is because Jesus is the incarnated love of the Father in our midst. And if we believe in Him, we believe in the sacrificing and salvific love of the Father. We become caught up in that love. We can go back to being “in the image and likeness of God” as before.
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF.