While I was watching the 2nd round of the 2012 NCAA Tourney played between Michigan St and St. Louis, a classic March Madness game, John 3:16, the all-time favorite text showed up towards the end and brought to mind Gospel this Sunday. It’s a verse that finds it inspiration in the depths of God’s love “For God so loved the world (and not only a single nation or a group of people) that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him (in his teaching and the example he left) might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).
Let’s go a little further, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). The message is, pure and simple, love and not condemnation. As I grew older, we, faithful Catholics as good and virtuous as we are, oftentimes, run into the habit of condemning just about anyone we know who’s out of sync. The way we treat sinners and speak about them makes me think as though we have created a different image of Jesus and crafted an adulterated version of the Gospel.
I have a friend whose character/personality resembles the one described above. All those years, I have never heard him say any sort of affirmation except maybe when he’s bent. As far as I know, everything that came out of his mouth was all negativity. He was the type who was very critical of anything that led me to think he was the one who’s great. I’ve also met a very devoted Catholic woman who does nothing but talk about herself and accomplishments giving me the impression that everybody else around her is horrible. If you can stand this kind of people hard to please, hands up, you are living the Gospel, a fast track to God’s promise of eternal life. Amen.