Gospel Meditations

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
27 APRIL, 2017, THURSDAY, 2ND WEEK IN EASTERTIDE
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ, SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC SPIRITUALITY CENTRE (CSC)
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE” (JOHN 3:36)

GOSPEL: JOHN 3:31-36

http://www.universalis.com/20170427/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

`It is John’s grief that so few accept the message that Jesus brought; but when a man does accept it, he attests the fact that in his belief the word of God is true. In the ancient world, if a man wished to give his full approval to a document, such as a will or an agreement or a constitution, he affixed his seal to the foot of it. The seal was the sign that he agreed with this and regarded it as binding and true. So when a man accepts the message of Jesus, he affirms and attests that he believes what God says is true. John goes on: we can believe what Jesus says, because on him God poured out the Spirit in full measure, keeping nothing back. Even the Jews themselves said that the prophets received from God a certain measure of the Spirit. The full measure of the Spirit was reserved for God’s own chosen one. Now, in Hebrew thought the Spirit of God had two functions–first, the Spirit revealed God’s truth to men; and, second, the Spirit enabled men to recognize and understand that truth when it came to them. So to say that the Spirit was on Jesus in the completest possible way is to say that he perfectly knew and perfectly understood the truth of God. To put that in another way–to listen to Jesus is to listen to the very voice of God.

Finally, John again sets before men the eternal choice–life or death. All through history this choice had been set before Israel. Deuteronomy records the words of Moses: “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil…. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Deut 30:15-20). The challenge was reiterated by Joshua: “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Jos 24:15). It has been said that all life concentrates upon a man at the crossroads. Once again John returns to his favorite thought. What matters is a man’s reaction to Christ. If that reaction be love and longing, that man will know life. If it be indifference or hostility, that man will know death. It is not that God sends his wrath upon him; it is that he brings that wrath upon himself.`1

What choice do I make today – eternal life in Jesus risen or indifference and isolation as I rely on my own strength. Every person has to go through the experience of life and see for themselves which proposal will not cheat them of their divine heritage. Let us pray to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit today. Indeed Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Action: Today I will pray to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)

1 https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/john-3.html

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
26 APRIL, 2017, WEDNESDAY, 2ND WEEK IN EASTERTIDE
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ, SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC SPIRITUALITY CENTRE (CSC)
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“GOD LOVED THE WORLD SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON” (JOHN 3:16)

GOSPEL: JOHN 3:16-21

http://www.universalis.com/20170426/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

`Everyone has their favourite texts; but this has been called “Everybody’s text.” Herein for every simple heart is the very essence of the gospel. This text tells us certain great things. First it proclaims that the initiative in all salvation lies with God. Sometimes Christianity is presented in such a way that it sounds as if God had to be pacified, as if he had to be persuaded to forgive. Sometimes men speak as if they would draw a picture of a stern, angry, unforgiving God and a gentle, loving, forgiving Jesus. Sometimes men present the Christian message in such a way that it sounds as if Jesus did something which changed the attitude of God to men from condemnation to forgiveness. But this text tells us that it was with God that it all started. It was God who sent his Son, and he sent him because he loved men. At the back of everything is the love of God. God is Love! This is the great Christian revelation that needs to be announced to the whole world.

Second this text announces to us that the mainspring of God’s being is love. It is easy to think of God as looking at men in their heedlessness and their disobedience and their rebellion and saying: “I’ll break them: I’ll discipline them and punish them and scourge them until they come back.” It is easy to think of God as seeking the allegiance of men in order to satisfy his own desire for power and for what we might call a completely subject universe. The tremendous thing about this text is that it shows us God acting not for his own sake, but for ours, not to satisfy his desire for power, not to bring a universe to heel, but to satisfy his love. God is not like an absolute monarch who treats each man as a subject to be reduced to abject obedience. God is the Father who cannot be happy until his wandering children have come home. God does not smash men into submission; he yearns over them and woos them into love. Third the text proclaims the width of the love of God. It was the world that God so loved. It was not a nation; it was not the good people; it was not only the people who loved him; it was the world. The unlovable and the unlovely, the lonely who have no one else to love them, the man who loves God and the man who never thinks of him, the man who rests in the love of God and the man who spurns it–all are included in this vast inclusive love of God. As Augustine had it: “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.`1

God as a loving Father who sacrifices Himself in His Son and allows His own creation to put Him to death out of love for them – a love so great that it can even conquer death itself! This notion of faith is nowhere else more clearly worked out than in the Christian faith! Let us use this time of Eastertide to ponder what has been revealed to us as Christians. Indeed Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Action: Today I will reflect on the great love of God for all of creation and me especially

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)

1 http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/john-3.html