Thought of the day
Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare) - Year B
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"God so loved the world"

Theodore of Mopsuestia (?-428), Bishop and theologian
Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel; CSCO 115,116

"God so loved the world"

The Lord Jesus says: “Don’t be frightened by the cross, and don’t let it make you doubt what I am telling you.” The serpent that Moses raised up in the desert was effective by the power of him who commanded Moses to raise it up… That is how the Lord takes charge of the lot of human beings and suffers the pain of the cross, but thanks to the power dwelling in him, he made those who believe in him worthy of eternal life. At the time of Moses the bronze serpent, without having life, delivered from death those who were going to perish from the poisonous bite; thanks to the power of another; they only had to turn and look at it. In the same way, in spite of his mortal appearance and his sufferings, Jesus nevertheless gives life to those who believe in him, thanks to the power dwelling in him.

Jesus continues: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life.” He says: “That is another sign of God’s love…” How could he say: “God gave his only Son”? It is obvious that the divinity cannot suffer. Nevertheless, thanks to their union, the humanity and the divinity of Jesus are one. Hence, although only the man suffers, everything that touches his humanity is also attributed to his divinity…

To show the greatness of the passion, Saint Paul says: “If they had known him, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor 2:8) In giving Jesus that title, he wanted to reveal the greatness of the Passion. In the same way, in order to show the lavishness of his love through the sufferings he endured, our Lord very rightly declared: “God gave his only Son.”

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