Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge,for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Our God is both love and mercy. As we encounter hardships that make our faith difficult to practice, we tend to forget this truth. We turn our backs on the Lord and assign the blame to God who is responsible for all that is good. Luckily, in today’s gospel, we are reminded that Jesus “did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” This verse from John’s account is fundamental for an understanding of our religion.
What hardships have I encountered within the last week? During these difficult times, did I acknowledge that God’s presence in my life is representative of his love and mercy and ultimate desire to save me from condemnation, or did I turn my back on Him and feel helpless and in need of assistance? Put all that is separating you from God to the side, and accept his love and mercy.
—Joe Ertle is a junior at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He is a student leader for the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless, and will serve as vice-president for the Saint Ignatius Student Senate next school year.
Lord, where there is doubt and confusion, bring your clarity to our struggle. Where there is suffering for the sake of others, fortify our commitment. When we see only the shadow of disappointment, remind us that your light will prevail and we will regain our bearings. And when those we love take their final breath and when our turn comes to bid this earth farewell, may we cross over into your eternal light.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!