In The Gospel in today’s Mass (Cycle B) is one of the most familiar texts of the New Testament. Many can quote it from memory: For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son, that all who believe in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God sent not his Son in the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16). But it is interesting that most quote only the first part of the passage. But the second half contains a warning and announcement of the essence of our judgement. Jesus says, “Here is judgement, the light has come into the world but some have preferred the darkness….they hate the light and do not come near it.
It is a very profound teaching about the nature of our last judgement. And here is the teaching: In the end, our judgement is not so much about God’s decision as about ours. God wants to save us. But do we want to be saved? You might say, “Everyone wants to go to heaven!” But heaven is not just a place of our design, heaven is the Kingdom of God in all its perfection. The truth be told, there are many who do not love God’s kingdom! The Kingdom of God is about justice, mercy, love of enemies, chastity, mercy, truth, love of the poor, and so forth. There are things in this description that many hate! Many today hate chastity and calls for sexual purity. Many do not love the poor and stridently disagree with many fundamental and truthful teachings of the scriptures and the Church. But this is what the kingdom of heaven is! Yes, everyone wants to go to heaven, but it is a heaven of their own making, not necessarily the real heaven. Jesus says in the gospel today that some people hate the light. This is evident today. Hence this Gospel says two things. First, God wants to save us and invites us to His kingdom. Secondly, not everyone wants to live in God’s kingdom. The judgement in question is not God’s decision, but ours
If you’d like to listen to it my homily for today is here in mp3 format: Lighten Up!
In this homily we explore the following:
- The desire that God has to save us.
- But what do we desire? Jesus says some prefer darkness and hate the Light? What does he mean?
- Our final judgement is ultimately God’s acceptance of our choice to love or hate the light.
- But how is it that some end up hating the light? In effect they go to sleep, enter a moral night-time and come to hate the light like a grouchy sleeper who doesn’t want to wake up and who curses the morning light that bids them to get up.
- Well then, walk in the light. Don’t go into moral darkness and sleep such that you grow so accustomed to the dark that you come to hate the light.