Often in our lives, we experience darkness in some way. Whether it be when the power goes out, if we drive through a tunnel, or simply pull a blanket over our heads, these are instances of literal darkness. What about those times where our darkness could be an internal struggle, such as a battle with addiction, mental health issues or simply grief and loss of a loved one? We have all been there. Rest assured that this darkness is balanced out by light, as is mentioned in both the second reading and in the gospel.
The gospel according to John uses the metaphor of light to describe God as light and Jesus as light. Jesus tells Nicodemus, who comes to him in the dark of night, that whoever lives in truth, lives in light. We know that there cannot be life without light. We, as humans, have a tendency of hiding in the darkness. Notice that when Jesus says that the Son of God is light for the world, he is not just talking about making everything bright and sunny, “but those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God”. He is talking about bringing to light things that we are ashamed of and want to keep hidden. And yet his purpose is not to condemn the world, but rather to set things right because if nothing changes, all will indeed be lost. God has intervened out of love and by responding to that love, by aligning ourselves with God and his way of doing things, we are saved.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16) This, in my opinion is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. It is one that, as a hopeless optimist, gives me so much hope.
I mentioned before in another reflection, when writing about this verse, that John 3:16 hit the top of Google’s hottest searches in 2009, thanks to Tim Tebow. I believe it’s worth pointing out that it is still one of the most researched verses and that Mr. Tebow was a great light, shining to others what we already know, that God is love. Love is God’s very nature, and it should be our nature too, since we were created in His image and likeness. God’s immense love for the world, which he expresses by giving us his Son, and to which the only appropriate response is for us to now love others as Jesus does, becoming ourselves channels of God’s love for the world. Like Tim Tebow, let us go out and shine bright the love of God.