“Living by the Power of the Cross, knowing that God’s Immense Love protects us always and everywhere!”
(Based on Acts 5:17-26 and Jn 3:16-21 – Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter)
In a particular place, in the medieval ages, there lived a certain monk.
This monk, once, announced that he would be preaching next Sunday evening on “The Love of God.”
That Sunday evening…
The sun began to set…
As the shadows fell and the light slowly ceased to come in, through the glass-stained windows of that marvellous Church, the congregation gathered, were eagerly waiting…
Their eyes were fixed on the monk who was to preach to them….
In the darkness of the altar, the monk lit a candle and carried it to the crucifix.
First, with the candle, he illumined the crown of thorns on the Crucifix..
Then, the two wounded hands…
Then the marks of the spear wound on His side…
Then, in the hush and silence that fell, the monk blew out the candle and left the Church.
There was nothing else to say!
A beautiful sermon on the “Love of God” had been preached!
The sacrifice of Jesus, on the Cross, reveals the depth of God’s Love.
The price that Jesus paid on the Cross, demonstrates the intensity of God’s Love.
It is this love of God that Jesus spells out, when He says to Nicodemus, in today’s Gospel, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but may have eternal life…” (Jn 3:16)
This verse, John 3:16 has some of the most unique credits….
… it is perhaps one of the most favourite verses of the entire Bible
… it is perhaps one of the most known verses of the entire Bible
In seven phrases, this verse, reveals the gist and the core of the entire Good News…
… For God: The Great Lord and the Creator of the entire universe
… so loved the world: The Great Purpose of God
… that He gave His only Son: The Great Sacrifice
… that whoever: The Great Open Invitation
… believes in Him: The Great Condition
… should not perish: The Great Desire
… but may have eternal life: The Great Promise
Jesus was teaching Nicodemus that the heart of God’s love would be revealed in the sacrifice and death of His Beloved Son, on the Cross.
The Cross is not for condemnation…
The Cross is not for judgment…
The Cross is for salvation!
The Cross is for hope!
To the one who believes and trusts in this power of the Cross, there is hope and salvation.
To the one who rejects and refuses this power of the Cross, judgment and condemnation is self-inflicted and self-imposed.
God doesn’t want to condemn
… He only wants to redeem.
The disciples of Jesus, after the Resurrection and by the Power of the Holy Spirit, experienced the depth of God’s Love
And this experience of the Immensity of God’s Love impelled them to give witness to Jesus, even in the midst of harsh torture and suffering – so much so, that their persecutors marvelled at their courage and conviction:
“Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” (Acts 5:25)
The Cross of the Lord invites us today…
… to be faithful to the salvation won by the Lord, always
… to seek the grace to live a life in the light, always
… to make efforts to walk the path of truth, always
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – THE EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS- The grace of the Holy Spirit
Before the grandeur of the priestly grace and office, the holy doctors felt an urgent call to conversion in order to conform their whole lives to him whose sacrament had made them ministers.
Thus St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as a very young priest, exclaimed: We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify, lead by the hand and counsel prudently.
And the holy Cure of Ars: “The priest continues the work of redemption on earth. . . . If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die not of fright but of love. . . . The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus. (CCC # 1589)