Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 3,16-21

For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God's only Son. And the judgement is this: though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up; but whoever does the truth comes out into the light, so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." With this sentence of Jesus to Nicodemus, John offers us a synthesis of his Gospel. Jesus is the Father's gift to humanity, a gift that springs from a limitless love for all. God's desire for human beings, so that they do not to get lost in the coils of evil, is so great that He decides to send His own Son to free them from the slavery of evil and lead them to salvation. The sending of the Son on earth by the Father and the Son's love for us, which reaches death on the Cross, show that Gospel love is a gift, a service, a readiness to give one's life for the salvation of others. This is the love - Jesus says to Nicodemus - which explains the mystery of his coming into the world. It is not to condemn, but to save men and women from evil and free them from all slavery. The horizon that includes this mystery of salvation is, precisely, love: God's love for us and, consequently, our loving response to God. Faith is the substance of love: God does not want subjects, but men and women who love Him. Faith - and therefore salvation - consists in accepting the boundless and gratuitous love of Jesus. Whoever welcomes him as the Father's envoy is a believer, and is therefore already saved. Whoever rejects this love is already judged, not by Jesus but by their own rejection because they shun the power of love which frees them from the coils of evil. And they remain in the darkness of love for themselves. It is love that Christians are called to bear witness to in a world harshly tried by the evil of the pandemic, by growing poverty and by the violence of selfishness. The frontier that awaits Christians in this time is that of fraternity among all peoples. The "children of the Resurrection" are called to witness the freeing efficaciousness of God's love that was manifested in Jesus.