Acts 5:17-26 / John 3:16-21
Jesus continues his instruction: “Whoever believes will not see death.”
The original stage version of God-spell captures the Gospel’s spirit of joy in an attractive way. The first act celebrates the joy of the woman who finds her lost coin, the joy of the shepherd who finds his lost sheep, the joy of the father who finds his lost son. The second act begins the same way. But then comes the sadness of the Last Supper farewells, the sadness of Jesus’ sufferings, and the sadness of Jesus’ crucifixion. But the joy returns again in the resurrection. It’s subtly portrayed by the disciples’ carrying the victorious Christ on their shoulders right down the center aisle of the theater.****
Frank Denton (NASA aerospace engineer) for the Apollo mission to the Moon named the receptacle for the command module pilot’s suit J316 and the lunar module pilot’s suit J317. You heard it today: “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). “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (Jn 3:17)
Do we truly believe that every Good Friday is followed by an Easter Sunday? “Love cannot die, nor truth betray; Christ rose upon an April day.” John R. Moreland, “Resurgam”
To wonder about things can have many shades of meaning. We may be caught in wonder with something magnificent like an awesome performance of an acrobatic act or musical performance.
Or when we don't understand what a person said and we wonder what is the real meaning of the words.
Or we may wonder about an occurrence that cannot be explained. Such was the case in the 1st reading.
The apostles were arrested and thrown into jail. But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and told them to go and tell the people about the Good News. So when the chief priests and the captain of the Temple were told by the officials that the jail was securely locked and the wardens on duty at the gates but the apostles were not in the jail, they wondered what this could mean. If only they would have wondered more and thought deeper about it, they would have understood that God was showing them something and telling them something.
But human motives and human reasoning often overrides the opportunity to wonder about things and to see God's design and His plan in the things happening around us. And we need to wonder at today's gospel passage that tells us that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life. Just wondering and pondering on that would help us realize that God is speaking to us and He is telling us the Good News of salvation.
Easter 2nd Week – Wednesday
God sent his only Son into the world to save us. Salvation. Do we need salvation? We have become so self-sufficient and proud of our human achievements that we often think that salvation belongs to another world - not ours. But when in our sober moments we sit down and reflect, we have to face deeper realities: which achievements? For what? Have they made us happier? Have we made the world a better place to live in? And then we realize that we cannot do it alone. We need salvation - from ourselves, from our achievements, from our so-called progress. And then we become grateful for Jesus, not merely a person-for-others, but God's Son, who is with us and who can still get us out of the mess we are often making.
-Light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil
-God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost
-God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved
Lord our God, you loved the world - that is us - so much that you gave us your only Son to save us from ourselves and to give us eternal life. Do not condemn us, Lord, do not leave us to ourselves and to our little schemes but give us your Son now to stay with us and to make love and justice and peace ever new realities among us, your people reborn in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, as your Son Jesus Christ is present here and shares himself with us at his table, may he also be present in our lives and be the meaning of all we do. May we learn from him to do what we are incapable of when left to ourselves: to forget injuries and to pardon enemies, to be patient with those who do not understand, to bring freedom to those who do not appreciate it. Let Jesus work all this in us for he is our Lord forever.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, you hear the cries of the poor, you sent your Son into the world not to condemn it but to save it. Give us the strength not to condemn but to build up, not to judge, but to heal and help, not to curse, but to bless. And when our clumsy efforts fail us, remind us that your Son stays with us and that he can do better, even through us, than we could ever dare to expect. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.