Last weekend we observed the ritual of “springing forward”, i.e. moving our clocks ahead one hour. Though most of us focus on the hour [of sleep] lost, the point in moving from standard time to daylight savings time is that there is now more light at the end of the day. In reality, of course, moving the clock forward does not mean there is any more light and less darkness … the light SEEMS to be more because it is now at the end of the day.
Here’s a simple thought — what is most important for us is not how much “light”-time we have or “dark”-time we have — what is most important is how we use the time we have.
Today’s Gospel [John 3:14-21] includes one of Scripture’s most quoted verses — so famous that it can be recognized with a simple reference of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
If you believe this — as I am sure you do — I ask: how are we “using” this belief?
St. Paul [Eph. 2:4-10] reminds us that we are the handiwork of God — created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance —— that we should live in them.
Let’s review: God the Father — sent Jesus, His Son — that if we believe in him, we will share life with God forever. Our “belief” is not shown by reciting the Creed, but by becoming a vehicle for God’s good work to flow through us.
Doing good deeds is a positive thing. But, simply being a “do-gooder” is not the goal of the Christian life — the goal is union with God, so that people see in us Christ and the love he offers to the whole world.
There is not a job on earth that is 100% pleasant. All of us are faced — at times — with the question, “why am I doing this?” We know it is not for the money and not for the prestige. We do what we must do out of some sense of love and dedication to God and/or to the other.
Parents get up in the middle of the night with a child — parents change those terrible diapers — not because it is FUN … but it is the expected action of a loving, caring parent.
Pastors go to the hospital — change plans to accomodate a funeral — schedule a Saturday morning appointment —- NOT because there is extra pay or a bonus — but it part of the giving that is part of ministry.
You cover for a sick co-worker not because you will necessarily get “comp” time or the boss will recognize your effort —- but because the work needs to get done and someone or something needs attention.
The God we worship understands what it means to sacrifice — we pray “to” a God who offered his most precious gift — his Son — to an undeserving world —- so that we — the underserving crowd — might have eternal life.
On this 4th Sunday of the Lenten Season are asking ourselves — do I really understand what God has given to me and how am I living in/with this gift?
Are you feeling the love God is offering? Are you feeling like the handiwork of God? Is someone robbing you of the joy that comes from love? Are you trapped in some “sinking-stinking” feeling? Is guilt holding you back? NOW is the time to step into the light — and to come out of the darkness!
If God gave his Son so that EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN Him might have life — how am I showing my love to EVERYONE? God did not just love the Catholics — but also the Protestant, the Jews, and even the Muslims.
God loves everyone — even those who do not love him …. that means the sinner, the ungroomed, the person on welfare and the fella in prison — not just the perfect folks.
Am I excluding someone — because they think differently than me, because they have hurt me, because they have different political thoughts than me?
I have been raised up with Jesus — you have been raised up with him — have we fallen back “down” into the negative thinking or offensive behavior?
The vast majority of people like having more daylight when they get home from work. This allows more chance for doing things outdoors. This is fine. But, I go back to where I began ….. having more time is just the beginning …. how well we use the time, how we use the time is the most important challenge before us.