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. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
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 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
If I wear my faith on my sleeve, using signs, symbols, or jewelry, is my faith equally clear to see in my thoughts, words, and deeds? Today’s verse from the Gospel of John, 3:16, some years ago tended to show up in the most unlikely places – public events, sports competitions, graffiti – and often it was in the hands of a man with a multi-colored wig who would be holding the sign “3:16” behind a basketball team bench at a time out, the tee box of a golfing tournament when the leaders were ready to hit their drives, or at the finish line of a marathon.
Yet, the place of prominence the man grabbed to gain attention, and the man’s isolation from the crowd in which he was engulfed, made one suspicious whether the love of God expressed in John 3:16 was drowned out by such actions. Without a multi-colored wig or a sign, I can let John 3:16 come to life if I willingly serve as an instrument in God’s hands to bring to others the gifts God has for them, and recognize the gifts God has given me through others.
God loves the world through you.
—Fr. Chris Manahan, S.J. is Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul, MN. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.
Lord, what will I experience this day if I allow you to love the world through me? What life might I touch if my senses are filled with your compassion and understanding? Lord, I surrender this day to you, mindful that no act done with love is small in the kingdom of God.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team