26 April 2017
People react differently when they hear it’s going to rain (or snow, or whatever). Some people love the rain; other people don’t care for it. Kids generally love the snow, but the elderly—not so much. It’s the same weather that comes down on us, but we can approach it in some pretty different ways.
And the same can go for God as well. Now, in the gospel today, John reminds us that God loves the world; he didn’t send his Son to condemn us, but to raise us up. He came “so that we might have life, life in abundance.” But, you know, sometimes that’s a hard sell for people. In some ways, God is like the rain or the snow. Some people love God; others have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude; and others really don’t like God at all. And that’s for any number of reasons.
One reason is that the “love” they’ve experienced from Christians has been anything but loving or merciful. I suppose it’s like trying to convince somebody who’s broken a hip slipping on the ice that ice skating is fun. And so, it’s important for us to be steadfast not only in our faith, but also in the way we share the Lord with others.
We heard in the Acts of the Apostles how they were imprisoned unjustly. But when they got out, they didn’t take revenge; they just kept on preaching the good news of the mercy of God. They were faithful to God—not only on a personal level, but also in the way they presented God to others, in their words and their actions. And that really made all the difference.
Like the Apostles, we also have the power to shape how others react to God. And that power lies in how we are the face, the hands, and the voice of God to those around us.