My favorite gospel reading is John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
You see it in the endzone, you see it behind home plate. For what reason? But John, here, talks about eternal life. Life that lasts…forever. This is His gift to us. But it has meaning right here, right now, too. Eternal life is given to us right here, not later on. We possess it now. But it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer, or get sick or have problems. But our lives are supposed to be to partake of God, to be an image of God and to have some of the qualities of God-to revere what He gave us and use it well.
Children’s understanding of God is clear and simple and very confident. Questions from kids like “Dear God, are you invisible, or is it just a trick?” or “Dear God, I am an American, what are you?” or “Dear God, I am doing the best that I can.” show that concepts of God are pure and unadulterated (notice the “adult” in that word?)
As we grow older life gets more confused and complicated, but, worst of all, it gets distant from God. He is just so far from us, is not as close as one another and as close as our own hearts. And so we talk about God and it’s true, we talk about God in Star Wars language. We talk about God as “the force.” “May the force be with you.” God is an overwhelming force. We talk about God as “the ground of our being, the foundation of the universe.” And God is that. We talk about God as “unconditional love,” and that is true and it is wonderful, and it is the Gospel. And, to me, it is just a little bit vague and impersonal…. unconditional love. We talk about God as “the first flaring forth of our universe.” Scientists want to call it “The Big Bang,” but it is really God’s unconditional love bursting into creation. And yet, at that same time, it is a little bit like “May the force be with you.”
We need to take the time to let God back into our lives. Give him his due. He created us to exist for all eternity, isn’t it fitting that we give him a bit of our time while here on earth? Just a few minutes a day, reflecting on what He has done for us, for no matter what our talents, no matter how busy we think we are, whatever we do, it’s a gift from God. For some it’s daily Mass attendance, for others, daily Rosary or Liturgy of the Hours. We spend so much time pursuing earthly pleasures and earthly things, watching television (especially the quality of content that exists today!). Don’t we owe God a little of our time? And not as an afterthought, either. It needs to be significant, special. Give God your best. He gave you His best.