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Live in the light of God’s love

Based on the Gospel of John 3:14-21

In the dark of night searching for the Light! The religious leaders of the Jewish community considered Jesus to be a problem. His teachings differed from their interpretations of the Torah, questioned their religious practices and attracted a growing number of followers. In fact, for them to be seen in public with Jesus was a huge risk. But secretly one night, Nicodemus, a Pharisee and one of these religious leaders, came to see Jesus. He wanted to find out more about this controversial teacher from Galilee.

As a leader of the Jewish community, Nicodemus knew the Old Testament prophecies about a promised Messiah. He said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” (Jn 3:2).

Nicodemus was a cautious man and in no hurry to commit himself to believe in Jesus. Nicodemus’ faith appeared to concentrate on rituals and customs without a relationship with God. Jesus patiently corrected him and taught him about divine love and salvation. As the conversation continued, probably through the night, Jesus wins over Nicodemus’ heart and he becomes a secret disciple. We also know from later Gospel passages that he would speak up for Jesus in the Sanhedrin (Jn 7:50), and provide the hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes for Jesus’ burial (Jn 19:39).

This Sunday’s Gospel comes at the end of Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus. The opening lines go right to the core of the Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” We look at Jesus lifted up on the cross to see the immensity of God’s redeeming love for us – no selfishness – no hidden agenda – just pure generous love. God has done his part; now it is up to us to do ours – to accept, to believe and to live in the light of that love and to reject the darkness of sin.

Out of love, Jesus showed us how to live and to share his love with others. His death on the cross and his Resurrection brought eternal life to all who will believe in him.

Our loving faith in Jesus leads to faith in his teachings, doctrines and commands and includes accepting the rules that influence our behavior.

By the grace of our baptism, we are born again of water and the Holy Spirit, freed from sin and become members of the church. As we grow in our faith and our love for Jesus, we can continually ask the help of the Holy Spirit to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

Love – Light – Life – Jesus!