Readings for Wednesday April 22, 2009

First Reading:  Acts 5:17-26
Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 34
Gospel:  John 3:16-21

For 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.
(John 3:16-18)

One of my favorite times of year is football season, especially college football.  I have grown up playing and watching this sport, and I just can't help but get fired up about the upcoming season.  Watching the sport on TV gives us a unique view, not only of the players and coaches, but also of the fans.  Many fans are very creative in the signs that they hold up during the game, such as someone who holds up a big letter "D" followed by holding up a picture of a fence when their team needs to make a big stop ("D" + "Fence" = Defense).  Or they might hold up signs asking their star player to stay for one more year.  While many of these signs are certainly entertaining and creative, there is one sign that will always receive top marks, not for creativity but for perspective.  Many times when the camera is zooming around the stadium or in on a fan we catch a glimpse of a sign that will read "John 3:16."  "John 3:16" and that is it, nothing else, just that verse.  Now I can tell you that just for a moment when that sign appears in front of the camera and on TV, the whole world is put into perspective for me.  I am no longer concerned if we are losing the game, if I ate too much food, or what games are on later; all that occurs to me is that God loves me and all of us.  Nothing else in the world matters more than this.  God loves this world and the people He gives life to, and He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us so that it doesn't have to end with this world, we can have a way to spend the rest of our lives with Him in heaven if we are willing to follow Him.  

We may never know the exact reason that someone goes to a game and holds up the "John 3:16" sign, but we do know that during the loud cheers, the rowdy fans, and the bad calls; we can find God giving us a sign reminding us that His love is there and it is the most important thing in our lives.  This is one of the many signs and ways that God lets us know that it is He who created us, loved us first, and is calling us to an everlasting life with Him in paradise; let's make sure that we are all taking some time and thinking about the signs that He gives us.  

All glory be to God, and go Team Jesus!

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day.  Lord, we thank you and give you praise for all that you give and do.  Lord, you are our creator and we thank you for the gifts of our life and your love for us.  Lord, help us to go out and love as you love and to give as you give.  We pray for all those in need of conversion and all of our brothers and sisters who have just come home to the catholic church.  We ask this all through Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

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