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Live in the light of Jesus’ love

Based on 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23; Eph 2:4-10; Jn 3:14-21

Today’s readings highlight God’s unending love for all human beings, despite our rebellion and sinfulness.

In the Gospel, Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the ruling Council of the Jews (Sanhedrin), secretly comes to see Jesus. He believes in Jesus and wants to know more about him.

Because the other Pharisees do not like Jesus or his teachings, Nicodemus comes at night so they won’t find out. Later in John’s Gospel we learn Nicodemus appeals to the Pharisees not to condemn Jesus (Jn 7:50), and after Jesus’ death on the cross, he helps Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus (Jn 19:39).

Jesus tells Nicodemus, “God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to be the light and to save those who believed in him. The Light of the World has come, but many turn away from it and prefer the darkness. Anyone who does wrong is afraid of the light, because their wrongdoing will be plain for all to see. Good people have nothing to fear from the light, because they are close to God.”

When someone does something wrong, they don’t want anyone to find out about it. This is what Jesus means when he says people prefer the darkness to the light so no one will see their wrongdoing. When someone does something right, he or she doesn’t mind if anyone finds out because there is nothing to hide.

We are children of the light. At our baptism, we were cleansed of original sin, made members of the church and were given a candle as a sign of the light we received from Christ. Jesus’ love and the flame of that faith have been burning in our hearts since then. We don’t need to be afraid, because Jesus is always close to us.

Out of his love and mercy, God the Father sent us his only Son, Jesus. Out of his love and mercy, Jesus showed us how to live and share his love with others. He suffered and died on the cross; he rose from the dead – all for us. It is up to us to accept, believe and live in the light of that love, and to say no to the darkness of sin.

Jesus, the Light of the World, will help us along our way in this life so we can gain everlasting life with him in heaven.