In the Gospel of John everything needs to be viewed and understood through this reality...that all of God’s saving actions have happened, and continue to happen, precisely because God so deeply and passionately loves the world! I know you hear me say this over and over again but please understand this is the reason that I do what I do...it is why I am still here today...to share this amazing truth that you are deeply and passionately loved by God...just as you are!
Now, I could do a reading of today’s text using strictly a historical critical methodology or perhaps the textual critical method or even a sociological methodology...but all of them fail in the awesomeness...yes I just said “awesomeness”...of this reality that God is, above all else, love! Yes, the very essence of that Divinity which created all that exists...is love! And we are the object of that Love! Imagine what our lives could look like if each one of us lived as if we were the “beloved of God”!
So in this fourth week of Lent it may seem peculiar in the midst of all of the suffering in the world, in the midst of this heart breaking pandemic, in the midst of our own pain and sorrow to talk of God’s audacious love for us...but I think not. Yes, in the midst of all of the pain and suffering of the world and of our lives we need, very much, to reflect on how deeply and passionately we are love by God! In the midst of our Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving we need to ask ourselves “why”...why are we praying, why are we fasting and why are we giving alms...because I am so deeply and passionately loved by God?
What do I have to do to open my heart wider to God’s love for me? Do I really believe that God loves all people equally...even my enemies? How can I share God’s deep and passionate love for all human beings with others? Based on God’s love for all of us how do I respond to situations of racism, sexism, ageism or xenophobia, homophobia? Through what environmentally conscious acts can I show my understanding of God’s love of all of creation? I think these are some important questions for me to spend some time meditating on and then acting on.