"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). These words fill us with joy and hope, as we await the fulfilment of God's promises! …
Today's first reading has a particular resonance for God's people in Angola. It is a message of hope addressed to the Chosen People in the land of their Exile, a summons to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Lord's Temple. … When God's word - a word meant to build up individuals, communities and the whole human family - is neglected, and when God's law is "ridiculed, despised, laughed at" (ibid., v. 16), the result can only be destruction and injustice: the abasement of our common humanity and the betrayal of our vocation to be sons and daughters of a merciful Father, brothers and sisters of his beloved Son.
So let us draw comfort from the consoling words which we have heard in the first reading! P. Benedict VXI
The call to return and rebuild God's Temple has a particular meaning for each of us. Saint Paul ... tells us that "we are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor 6:16). God dwells, we know, in the hearts of all who put their faith in Christ, who are reborn in Baptism and are made temples of the Holy Spirit. Even now, in the unity of the Body of Christ which is the Church, God is calling us to acknowledge the power of his presence within us, to reappropriate the gift of his love and forgiveness, and to become messengers of that merciful love ....
The words which Jesus speaks in today's Gospel are quite striking: He tells us that God's sentence has already been pronounced upon this world (cf. Jn 3:19ff). The light has already come into the world. Yet men preferred the darkness to the light, because their deeds were evil. How much darkness there is in so many parts of our world! …We think of the evil of war, the murderous fruits of tribalism and ethnic rivalry, the greed which corrupts men's hearts, enslaves the poor … that insidious spirit of selfishness which closes individuals in upon themselves, breaks up families, and, by supplanting the great ideals of generosity and self-sacrifice, inevitably leads to hedonism, the escape into false utopias through drug use, sexual irresponsibility, the weakening of the marriage bond and the break-up of families, and the pressure to destroy innocent human life through abortion?
Yet the word of God is a word of unbounded hope. "God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son … so that through him, the world might be saved" (Jn 3:16-17). God does not give up on us! He continues to lift our eyes to a future of hope, and he promises us the strength to accomplish it. As Saint Paul tells us in today's second reading, God created us in Christ Jesus "to live the good life", a life of good deeds, in accordance with his will (cf. Eph 2:10). He gave us his commandments, not as a burden, but as a source of freedom: the freedom to become men and women of wisdom, teachers of justice and peace, people who believe in others and seek their authentic good. God created us to live in the light, and to be light for the world around us! This is what Jesus tells us in today's Gospel: "The man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God" (Jn 3:21). "Live", then, "by the truth!" Radiate the light of faith, hope and love in your families and communities! Be witnesses of the holy truth that sets men and women free! …Living by the truth takes time, effort and perseverance: it has to begin in our own hearts, in the small daily sacrifices required if we are to be faithful to God's law, in the little acts by which we demonstrate that we love our neighbours, all our neighbours, …become communities where the light of God's truth and the power of Christ's reconciling love are not only celebrated, but proclaimed in concrete works of charity. And do not be afraid! Even if it means being a "sign of contradiction" (Lk 2:34) in the face of hardened attitudes and a mentality that sees others as a means to be used, rather than as brothers and sisters to be loved, cherished and helped along the path of freedom, life and hope. - P. Benedict XVI
The Sunday of the man born blind presents Christ as the light of the world.
The Gospel confronts each one of us with the question: “Do you believe in the Son of man?”
“Lord, I believe!” (Jn 9: 35. 38), the man born blind joyfully exclaims, giving voice to all believers.
The miracle of this healing is a sign that Christ wants not only to give us sight,
but also open our interior vision, so that our faith may become ever deeper
and we may recognize him as our only Savior. He illuminates all that is dark in life
and leads men and women to live as “children of the light”. read more>>>
The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer. It is essential that the revealed
word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith.
.... while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading. We do not blindly seek God,
or wait for him to speak to us first, for “God has already spoken, and there is nothing further that we need to know, which has not been revealed to us”.
Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word.