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GOD IS LOVE

Father Francis's picture
Second Week of Easter

Acts. 5:17-26 & Jn. 3:16-21

How actively and effectively the Lord worked among the early Christians in Jerusalem is shown by today's first reading. He was not going to allow the spread of the good news of the resurrection to be limited or stopped by those who had crucified Jesus. Once again we see how powerfully transforming was the Holy Spirit in the lives of the apostles who fearlessly placed themselves at His disposal to spread the good news.

Some people have the wrong idea of God our loving Father, portraying Him as a stern, angry, unforgiving, legal God - and His Son Jesus as a gentle, loving and forgiving God. They think that it was Jesus who did something which changed the attitude of His Father towards we sinners from condemnation to forgiveness. But all this is so far from the truth.

In today's Gospel we see that it was the Father who started the whole process of reconciliation between God and us. Jesus describes His Father's plan in what are among the most quoted words of scripture: "God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son ... For God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through Him the world might be saved.” It was the Father who sent His Son precisely because He loved us. It was not to satisfy His thirst for power or to demonstrate His domination over us that God acted. It was to satisfy His love. For God is a loving, caring Father, a parent who cannot be happy until all His wandering children have come home. God does not beat people into submission; He woos them into love.

Not everyone, of course, wants His love. There were some who would not accept Jesus when He presented Himself as the Son of God, including the High Priest and the Sadducees: they tried to silence the apostles, ordering them not to tell the people that Jesus had risen, and they refused to acknowledge that the apostles were telling the truth about the resurrection, even though they themselves knew but refused to admit that Jesus had risen from the dead. On the other hand, the apostles believed that Jesus was the Son of God and they were not afraid, even under the threat of persecution, to proclaim the truth of the risen Christ.

The life and death of Jesus is the final proof of God's love for us. What more could He have done? We have to be witnesses of this truth. If we really believe in Jesus we must be prepared, like the apostles, to share the good news with others. Are our lives so wrapped up in self that the world cannot see us as followers of Jesus? By all that we do and say it should be apparent to everyone that the Risen Lord Jesus makes a difference in our lives.

Holy Spirit, help us to grasp the love that the Father, the Son and You have for us. May we love you above all things and demonstrate this in the way we live our lives.

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