June 11, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Cycle A. Readings:
1) Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
Psalm: Daniel 3:52-56
2) 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel: John 3:16-18
By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service
Years ago I was a clown. Not in the Ringling Bros. sense of the word, but the clown ministry version. I loved my costume: I was kind of a prom date gone wrong with top hat, tails and all.
My time in this ministry was short-lived, and my great costume went into the closet to collect dust. Some time later a friend of mine who was still in the ministry asked if he could have my top hat for his costume. I was hesitant, thinking maybe I would pull it out for Halloween or some other random event. In the end I said no.
That top hat sat untouched on the top shelf in my office for the next 10 years. Every time I looked at it I remembered my unwillingness to give it away. My attachment to this small material object blocked the love I had for my friend.
Lucky for us, God does not behave like this. John’s Gospel tells us that “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.”
Love is wanting good for another and being willing to do what it takes to bring about this good in the person’s life. God demonstrates this definitively in the sacrifice of his Son. It is God’s desire that every one of us spend eternity in union with him.
To bring about this desired good meant sending Jesus to earth to suffer and die for our sins. God was willing to do this. This was the first “big give” (sorry, Oprah).
John 3:16 is not just a great sign to hold up in the end zone of a football game. It is the defining statement of God’s love for us. Yet, at the same time, it is also the blueprint for how we are called to love.
God does not ask us to give up our children to save the world, but he challenges us to show our love for God and our neighbor through what we give, be that a lifetime of missionary work or an unused top hat. It truly is not how much we give but that we give.
How would you make John 3:16 come alive for you? (You) so loved (name a person) that (you) gave (a gift) so that this person would have (name the good you want for him/her). What is a good you have received from someone’s love for you?