John 3:16; “God so loved the world, that He gave His only son…” If I were a betting man, I would bet this is this is probably one of the most often utilized Scripture reference. I imagine that most people that hold up signs at sporting events or otherwise highlight this as their favorite verse, know what this verse is (I have met a few who did not though). God so loving the world – is beautiful! No doubt about it, but the rest of the verse ought to impact us deeply too, as should the verses that follow (3:16-21). These verses connect very closely to our parable in today’s Gospel and ought to impact us to our very core. It happens that we can and often do become complacent, apathetic, lukewarm in our faith. God does love the world which is why He gave us prophets, legitimate apparitions and most importantly His Son. And the fate of the prophet of the past, might be our fate! Why, because after the Lord came, we ought now take on the role of prophet as we are the new generation of prophets! Would anyone know that about you? Would they know it about me?
Throughout human history, God has spoken directly to us. The prophets and even for us the apparitions which we have received may impact us for a time but then we get on with our life and forget about them. Jesus, Son of God came into the world and while we can certainly say as Christians we acknowledge that and accept that He is the Son of God and perhaps we aren’t the tenants who killed the Son – we must indict ourselves if we’ve stood by and watched as someone else has. What I mean by this is that there are times we are going to have to fight for our faith. There are times when we are going to have to make choices that are not popular that may lead us to be ostracized, ridiculed or mistreated by others because we live in a culture and society where angry atheism, secularism and anti-religious sentiments coexist. Coexisting doesn’t always mean in peace and without conflict. It doesn’t mean compromising our moral or ethical principles or adapting them so we all coexist peacefully. It doesn’t mean hurting other people, condemning them or getting up on a moral high-horse either. It means standing for something rather than little or nothing.
We need to absolutely love being Christians, we need to know that being a Christian means we are constantly seeking to know the Lord Jesus better every day and trying to be like Him in all ways. We start with the Gospels, we allow the Sacraments to saturate and permeate our souls. We reflect upon our Baptism and draw strength from our Confirmation – and as we gain knowledge, wisdom and strength – we go out and set the world on fire with love, but love that means something! Love that stands for something! Love that isn’t watered down by our own agenda or an overriding desire to be liked by everyone because that’s not love. It’s time for us all to move from the sidelines and move into the forefront of being messengers or prophets of God, come what may!