IV SUNDAY OF LENT
2 chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23; ephesians 2:4-10; john 3:14-21
a man saw his five-year-old daughter tearing expensive wrapping-paper and packing an old carton with it. he yelled at her for wasting time and paper.
the next morning, the girl brought that box to dad, and said: «this is for you, daddy.» the father was embarrassed by his earlier reaction. he opened the box, found it empty, and yelled again: «don’t you know, when you give a present there’s supposed to be something inside?» the girl’s eyes became little pools. she said: «daddy, there is something inside. i blew kisses into it; i filled it with my love.»
the father was crushed. he bent down, hugged his little girl, and asked her to forgive him. he kept that love-filled box by his bed for the rest of his life. often, he’d open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
GOD has given each of us a gift-box filled with his unconditional love.
the first reading tells us that GOD manifested his love through his patience and faithfulness towards his unfaithful people. the second reading and the gospel remind us that GOD showed his love in the ultimate gift: he sent his only son. the text from john reads: «GOD so loved the world that he gave his only son.» this is the essence of the gospel.
this text emphasizes two things. first, GOD took the initiative to love us; he sent his son… for one reason: he loved us. second, it tells us of the width of GOD’s love: he loved the world. not just the «chosen people»; not only those who loved him. his love is not a reserved love.
the greatest gift is for you and me. all we must do is accept the gift.
do i accept the gift of GOD’s love? do i believe that GOD loves me so much that he sent his son to be my redeemer? how do i respond to his love?