Don’t Persist In The Darkness of Sin

Weekly Missionary Reflection
4th Week of Lent, 14 March 2021

2Chr. 36:14-16,19-23; Ps. 137:1-2,3,4-5,6; Eph. 2:4-10; John 3:14-21

Today’s quote from the gospel of John is very meaningful. Some people even call verse 16 as the “mini gospel”, a summary of the essence of the Good News. It is undeniable that in this part of Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus, these are revealed. This is the essence of our faith about loving action of the Father through His Son, as well as the correct answer from humans to that love. In brief, today’s Gospel profoundly talks about the relationship of the Father with the Son and with us. First, FATHER loves the world so much. There is no better word than love for referring the Father! The superb and genuine love. What is the evidence? The Father gives His only Son to the world. True love is only giving, without demanding it back. He will keep on loving humans in spite of being betrayed. Nothing else can God do, but only love, because He is the Love: He cannot deny Himself!

Second, Jesus is the proof of the Father’s love, so that He becomes the Light for the world. He is the only Son of the Father. He is the only one, therefore the Father truly loves Him. This loving relationship between the Father and the Son is reflected in all Jesus’ events. He is sent into the world to present the Father’s love so that humans can be saved and have a true and full life. Jesus’ mission is not always welcomed. He is even rejected and crucified. For John, Jesus’ death on the cross is not an insult, but a glorification; not humiliation but exaltation. Why? Because it is the crucifixion that becomes the moment of Jesus returning back to the Father (cf. 13:1), where He is exalted and glorified. The impact for human beings is also real: we get true and eternal life, no more perish (vv. 14, 16).

Third, we must believe in Jesus in order to get true and eternal life. How frequently the word “believe” is repeated in this story! Why is believing so important? Because Jesus is the Light who comes into the world (v. 19). If we receive the Light, our life will become transparent, as we also experience the Father’s love with Jesus. As a result, we are able to live and walk in the light. That light rebukes and illuminates our wickedness and mistake, to change us. Our behavior then becomes “right” (v. 21), it means: we behave according to His will. On paper, all sounds easy. But the reality is not as it’s told! Humans love darkness even more. How come? Because darkness can cover the weakness and mistake. That is what humans want. That is how humans punish themselves: rejecting love, embracing sin; hiding from the Light, so they may persist in the darkness of sin.

Lent is an opportunity for us to receive the Love and Light, so you and I will be more transparent. Before the Most Loving Father and Jesus, the True Light, let us be innocent and “transparent” human beings, so we can always listen to His offer: “Let Me love you, let Me light you”.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Sacrament of reconciliation: May through the Sacrament of reconciliation, we are enabled to renew ourselves deeper so we can feel God’s unconditional love. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Focusing on the essentials: May the Catholics always learn to focus more on the essentials, both in body and soul. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
During the months dedicated to St. Joseph, let us get the spirit that is opened to listen to Your will, in order for us to serve the Holy Family. We pray…

Amen

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