19 June Sunday Feast of The Most Holy Trinity
We were created in the image of a profoundly personal God, who is by inmost nature trinitarian, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We reflect God’s image at our best, when we are at our most creative, compassionate and charismatic. Today’s Scriptures present the gracious holiness of God (first reading), the centrality of love as God’s most precious gift (2nd reading), and the Father’s outpouring of grace upon our world, through the Son and the Spirit.
Exod 34:4-8. Moses on Sinai has a deep experience of the all-holy, gracious God, and begs the divine mercy for his people, Israel.
1 Cor 13:11-13. In Paul’s listing of the Christian virtues, “faith, hope, love abide, but the greatest of these is love.”
Jn 3:16-18. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that we may be saved to eternal life.
– that we may reflect in our lives the image of the Father by our creativity.
– that we may reflect the image of his Son by our compassion for others.
– that we may place our talents at the disposal of the Holy Spirit.
Fullness of love (Liam Swords)
A popular expression tells us that “Two is company, three is a crowd”. But the gospel would have it otherwise, for there, the figure three symbolises completeness and perfect symmetry, and re-appears at all the key moments of the story of our Lord. His life itself constantly reflected the Trinity. Three figures make up the nativity scene in Bethlehem – the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Their first visitors were the three wise men. Later, in the desert preparing to begin his public life, Jesus was tempted three times by the devil. A good story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Christ was a storyteller par excellence and three figures prominently in his parables. The Prodigal Son is about a father and his two sons; the Good Samaritan tells of the behaviour of three passers-by, the priest, the Levite and the Samaritan; the sower sowed his seed in three different types of terrain, yielding three different levels of harvest. The end of his life, as the beginning, has again the three motif. During his Passion, Peter denied him thrice. On the road to Calvary, he fell three times. The crucifixion scene has three figures, Christ between two thieves. Before his resurrection, he spent three days in the tomb.
God is love, as St John so powerfully stated. And in God there are Three Persons, the loving Trinity, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Together they represent the fullness of love. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father. The Holy Spirit is their love for each other. We are made in the image of a triune God. God the Father, who created us, his Son who saved us, and the Holy Spirit who continues to guide us. Our lives should reflect the Trinity. We should be always creative like the Father, compassionate like his Son, and dispose our talents in the service of others like the Holy Spirit.
Deputed to Pass On the News (Andrew Greeley)
Unquestionably this a mission Sunday. The followers of Jesus are deputed to go forth to pass on the good news that Jesus had shown them of God’s overwhelming and forgiving love. A lot of time and energy has been poured into that challenge through the ensuing centuries. Often we made a terrible mess of it. We have forced people to be baptized whether they wanted to be or not. Once in Seville, Spain forty thousand Jews were baptized (under pain of leaving the country by priests who strode through cathedral plaza sprinkling water on them. Other times we have forced them to abandon their native cultures and become Europeans like us. Still other times we bribed them (with rice when they were hungry) to join us. Sometimes we got the point, particularly in early days and attracted them to the church by the kinds of people we were and by the love we had for one another and for them.
Story: “How many of you would like to go to a baseball game with me?” said the enthusiastic parish priest to a bunch of teens. “I have twenty tickets to a RedSox game tomorrow afternoon” – (Cubs fans will tell you that free tickets for Sox games are easy to find). About twenty five kids, even some girl kids, put up their hands. “Well,” said the priest, “we can’t take everyone.” He almost said girls can’t come because they don’t understand baseball. But his guardian angel intervened and shut his mouth. “Instead he said I tell you what, how many of you are Cubs fans?” More than half the kids put up their hands, some would say because they had excellent taste, others would say because of genetic programming. “Cubs fans can’t go,” the priest said (thinking he had a way out). Sorry. Nine hard core Sox fans approached him with their hands out. He still had eleven tickets. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “how many of you Cub fans want to convert and be Sox fans for this afternoon only?” Well, you know what Cub fans are like? So the priest went to the game with the nine hardcore Sox fans. That night when he explained what happened, the wise old monsignor said, “You might have flipped a coin.” “You know, I never thought of that” said the young priest. “It’s hardly right to ask people to convert to the other team for an afternoon.” Alas, how often we have used methods like that against those who are not Catholic, even against those who marry into our families.
Trinity, Community and Support (Martin Hogan)
The French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, once wrote, “Hell is other people.” There are times in our lives when we might find it easy to sympathize with that sentiment. If we have had a negative experience of other people over a period of time, we can long to be on our own, away from the troubles that others seem to bring us. We can begin to think of heaven as a state of glorious isolation. Yet, even the greatest loners among us long for human company and human companionship, from time to time. At some deep level we sense that we are only complete when we are in relationship with others. In the context of a prison, solitary confinement is a cruel form of punishment. It is the frustration of a deep need in all of us to be present to others and to have others present to us. We all long for some form of communion with others. If we were to call to mind the happiest moments of our lives, we would probably discover that they involved some element of communion or community, some experience of relationship. Even in our age of great individualism, we know instinctively that no one is an island.
Today’s feast of the Trinity reminds us that what is true of ourselves is even truer of God. At the heart of God’s own life is a community, what we call a communion of persons, a set of relationships. In the gospel reading this morning, the risen Jesus makes reference to the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Within God there is a relationship of profound love between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Those relationships of love within God became visible to us all with the coming of Jesus into the world. In particular, the death of Jesus on the cross reveals the love that the Son has for the Father. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead reveals the love that the Father has for the Son. The fruit of that love of the Son for the Father and of the Father for the Son was Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the church, upon each of us. The love that is within God could not be contained within God, but was poured out upon us through the sending of the Holy Spirit, so as to draw us into that life of love that is God. In that sense, the community that is within God is not a closed community. Rather, it is a community to which we are all invited to belong. We are not only invited to belong there, we are drawn there by God. Jesus draws us to the Father. The Holy Spirit draws us, leads us, to the Son, reminding us of all that Jesus said to us. St Paul, in today’s second reading, tells us that the Holy Spirit, in leading us to Jesus, thereby enables us to have the same relationship with God the Father that Jesus has, moving us to cry out “Abba, Father,” as Jesus himself does.
If God is a communion of love, a community of love, and we are made in the image of God, then our task, our calling, is to create communities of love, communities that somehow reflect the community of love that is God. The first community of love that we experience is our family. We are born into a family. None of us have perfect families. We will always struggle with our families in one way or another. Yet, the family has the potential to be a communion of love that reflects and gives expression to something of that love that is within God. Beyond the family, the church is called to be a community of love. Jesus, on the night before he died, said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, I have loved you… Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus wanted the church to be a loving community that was a reflection of the loving community that is God. We know that the church, the gathering of Jesus’ disciples, has frequently fallen short of this vision of Jesus. Yet, the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus said to us, keeps on reminding us of what we are called to be as church. With the Spirit’s help we need to keep on trying to live that calling. The parish is the local church, and every parish is called to be a reflection of the loving communion that is God, that is within God.
If we look around us we will find examples of communities of love that are not specifically church related. We have recently hosted the Special Olympics. It was a great privilege for our country to do so. They would not have happened without the presence over time of various communities of love that sustained the vision of the Special Olympics and that have helped to make that vision a concrete reality in our land today. Many other life-giving communities can be identified in our midst. There are a whole range of support groups for various categories of people. Whenever we act to make such communities possible we are acting in a Trinitarian way, even if we have no awareness of the Trinity when we are doing it. Every time we bring people together in ways that affirm them and build them up, we are living in the spirit of the Trinity. That is the call and the challenge of today’s feast. Although the feast of the Trinity might initially seem remote from us, it is, in reality, a down to earth feast, because it reminds us of what we need to be about in our day to day lives.
Mystery of Redemption (Jude Siciliano)
The Bible does not have a specific teaching on the Trinity; the term does not even appear in the scriptures. The church’s teaching about the nature of our triune God has a complex history. What else would we expect as we search for ways to describe a mystery that is indescribable? Over the centuries, as the doctrine got formulated, words like “person,” “substance,” “essence” and “hypostasis” were used in ways that would have been completely unknown to the gospel and epistle writes. Teachings about the Trinity have had to use analogies and metaphors.
The new cycle of readings provides a rich source for homilies on Trinity Sunday. The focus should be the mystery of redemption by God through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, as well as its consequences for Christian life. Preachers need not use the technical language of dogma, e.g. hypostasis, nor is it desirable to explain particular trinitarian theories, even those of Augustine and the church councils. Since liturgy is the ritual celebration of the events of the economy of salvation, preaching on Holy Trinity Sunday should concentrate on the concrete reality of grace and divine love in the economy of salvation.
When Moses wants the chosen people to reflect on the nature of their God, he calls them to remember what God has done for them. They will know the kind of God they have by how God has acted for them. He tells them that there has been no other god, like their God, who had performed marvelous deeds on their behalf, no god who had spoken to them, as God spoke through Moses. The God they have come to know is not a distant and aloof God, but one who chose them from among the nations, delivered them from slavery and whose voice they have heard. God has acted powerfully on their behalf, with a “strong hand and outstretched arm.” In LaCugna’s words, Moses is calling the people to “concentrate on the concrete reality of grace and divine love” they have experienced.
We celebrate a God today who has done what no other power on earth could do: chosen us; loved us without first requiring merit and accomplishment on our part; formed us into a believing people; walked with us through the ages and stayed with us when there was more than enough evidence against us as individuals and church. This God, who from the beginning of the Israelite people till now, continues to reach out to us at today’s eucharistic celebration, inviting us, as Moses says, to “fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.”
Moses invites us today to enthusiastically celebrate the God who has chosen us, stayed with us and will not abandon us. We can do what Moses suggests the people do: remember God. We look over the landscape of our own lives, notice the moments life tested us severely and recall how God sustained us. We remember times we were unfaithful to our calling and God still extended merciful arms to us. We celebrate too the love others have showered on us, those who were concrete signs of God’s gratuitous love and tenderness for us. Later thinkers would formulate the monotheistic theology implied in this text. But what the text does for us today is to draw us into the celebration and help us remember and say with Moses, the chosen people and one another, “…there is no other but God!” If someone were to ask us to “explain” the Trinity to them we might respond, “Well, I can’t do that, but let me tell you what I know about the Trinity in my life, for I have experienced the Trinity first hand.”
Today’s gospel reading from Matthew is the closing selection of his gospel. He is true to form; what he has been saying throughout his gospel, he now sums up. Matthew’s gospel has had a strong emphasis on Jesus’ presence with his band of followers. From the beginning, we are told that Jesus is called Emmanuel, God-with-us (1:23). Now, as he is about to leave, he reaffirms his identity as Emmanuel, “And behold I am with you all days.” With the assurance that he will always be with them, Jesus can now tell his disciples to “make disciples of all nations.”
Whereas earlier they were only to go to Israel (10:5-7), now he broadens the scope of their work to include all people. We have had hints this inclusivity was coming. In the genealogy early in the gospel, Matthew does a most untypical thing for his timehe includes women and godly members of the gentiles in his list of Jesus’ ancestors (1: 3ff). Of course, we remember the astrologers, who came from the east, were also gentiles. As his gospel proceeds we meet faith- filled Roman soldiers and a Canaanite woman. Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee, which Matthew reminds us is called “of the gentiles (4:15). A really big moment is described in the parable of the Last Judgment (25:32ff) when all the nations are to be judged. The criteria will not be based on those who belonged to a select tribe, religion or nation; but according to how they treated “the little ones” – the hungry, naked, thirsty, etc.
It comes as no surprise then that Jesus’ last instruction draws on what has been already hinted at in the gospel. He instructs his disciples to baptize and to teach others. There are no boundaries set for those who are to be addressed, the message is for all. What is essential in the message is baptism and its consequences: the baptized, Jesus tells them, are to be taught to “observe all that I have commanded you.” He wants disciples to live his new law of love and be rooted in the hope it gives. They are to live as citizens of a new reign of sisters and brothers and depend on Christ’s mercy as they welcome all who recognize their need of salvation and healing.
The disciples have gathered in Galilee with the risen Lord. There is something mysterious about him. They worship him, but still have doubts. It is comforting to know they still aren’t perfect, for we too gather to worship the mysterious presence of the risen Lord in our lives, and we still have doubts.
However, their doubts don’t disqualify the disciples from being Jesus’ ambassadors to the world. He reassures them they will not be left on their own, he promises to continue to be Emmanuel for them, “…I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Those sent out and this includes us baptized, must remember what we were taught in Matthew’s gospel about the reign of God. Individual Christians and the church as a community, are expected to live a holy life of spiritual poverty, always hungering for growth in love. We are to be merciful to enemies, single-minded in our commitment to our Lord, and ready to accept persecution in Jesus’ name. Jesus taught that our response is to be total, not only in observable religious practice, but also in our unseen thoughts and attitudes. His disciples are to teach the world to act as Jesus acted, giving to the poor, vigilant in prayer and fasting. The essence of Jesus’ commands was that we are to act in love (7:12) and he told us that we are to be judged according to how we loved (25:31ff).
We look up at the stars at night and marvel at what we see. We praise the Maker of such majesty and beauty and on this Trinity Sunday we ask about the nature of our God. By turning to both scriptural testaments today we learn that our God is not a distant and aloof Creator but has acted mightily on our behalf and wants to establish intimacy with us. God went so far as to enter our world so as to open our eyes to God’s loving nature. In Jesus we learned God wanted to deliver us from sin and all that fragments and divides the human community. Jesus sent out his disciples and through his Spirit, continues to speak the good news into their hearts. He guides and strengthens them as they share that news with others. God is certainly the marvelous Creator of the heavenly spheres; but more. As we learn through Jesus and re-learn through his Spirit, God is irrevocably and lovingly on our side.
QUOTABLE: The fundamental insight of this feast is that God’s being is essentially relational. The Johannine tradition expresses this (without, of course, anything like a developed Trinitarian theology) in its simplest and yet most ontologically profound affirmation: “God is love.” It follows that, as beings created in the image and likeness of God, our salvation comes as we “put on Christ” and allow our lives to be patterned after the loving, generative and reciprocal relationality that is the being of God as revealed to us in Christ by the power of the Spirit.
In the Eastern Christian tradition, this account of our salvation is called theosis or divinization. We might also call this capacity to share in the divine life of God spiritual communion. But this spiritual communion does not demand an escape from our world. Rather, our participation in spiritual communion comes in our authentic engagement in the multi-faceted web of human relationships that constitute our historical existence. This life of communion is disclosed in the creation stories of the Book of Genesis, in which we discover the call to the life of communion in our basic need for human companionship and in the demand for faithful stewardship of the earth itself.
Salvation is concerned with the transformation and empowerment of our capacity for authentic engagement with God, others and the world itself.
The arena in which we work out our salvation and seek after God is bounded by the patterns and practices of daily living. Consequently, the Gospel of salvation stands in direct confrontation to the overarching ethos of our consumerist culture. It stands as a challenge to the seduction of modern technology, which seeks to render the world around us and time itself subject to our manipulation and control. It is this Gospel of salvation that must be proclaimed with renewed vigour by the church. The effective proclamation of this Gospel demands the cultivation of a new Christian mystagogy and a new asceticism.
God’s Apparent Remoteness (John Walsh)
There was a time in the course of Western civilisation when practically all peoples in Europe were more or less agreed about the existence of God. The only divisions that crept in arose from the beliefs they held about God, and the fact that there was hatred and bitterness between the different groups was really an indication also of the intense passion with which they held to those beliefs. But this is not the case nowadays. Not only are there many who openly profess their lack of faith, but the quality of life we pursue tends to promote a kind of atheism in all of us. Especially in our large cities, people are at a distance from the things of nature, surrounded by a world which is a largely human creation.
The result is. that all of us, even the rural-based of our population, are bound to suffer in some degree God’s apparent remoteness from this kind of situation, God’s silence, God remaining hidden to the end of our earthly days. For the many living things of nature, and incredible elements of the universe, in a most powerful way, can speak to us of God. And several of the great saints, like for instance St John of the Cross, withdrew regularly into the countryside to encounter God. For most of us, it is in times of sorrow, of pain or great anguish, that we find ourselves turning almost instinctively to a God who cares about us, a God who has a bond of kinship with us, since he has identified with the suffering of mankind in the person of Jesus Christ, who has gone ahead of us, bearing his Cross also.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the most Holy Trinity, the mystery of God’s inner life. The mystery will remain for all of us as long as we live in this world, even though the veil which covers it is lifted ever so little. Revelation assures us that, not only is our God a personal God, he is three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while remaining one God. And although we cannot even begin to give a logical explanation for this, our faith enables us in some small measure to experience the presence of God. How this can happen is stated by St Augustine in a most beautiful passage from his “Confessions” (p. 211). “What do I love when I love my God?” he asks. Then he continues; “Not material beauty or beauty of a temporal order; not the brilliance of earthly light, so welcome to our eyes; not the sweet melody of harmony and song; not the fragrance of flowers, perfumes and spices; not manna or honey; not limbs such as the body delights to embrace. It is not these that I love when I love my God. And yet, when I love him, it is true that I love a light of a certain kind, a voice, a perfume, a food, an embrace; but they are of the kind that I love in my inner self.”
In other words, since God is pure spirit, these, as pointers to God, must be taken in a spiritual sense. But then he poses the truly fundamental question, “What is my God?” The earth, the sea, and all living things in them replied; “We are not your God. Seek what is beyond us.” Tell me something of my God,” he then demands. And loud and clear they answered, “God is he who made us.”
Many scientists today, who study the origin of the universe, maintain that, keeping in mind the complexity of the world we live in, it now requires a greater act of faith to be an atheist than to believe in the existence of a divine creator. God is creator, and he continues to create, to shape our lives, if only we surrender our will to his. And if we place our lives in God’s hands, then, in his own good time, he will make us sharers in the blissful existence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Indeed, as St John in the New Testament tells us, in a mysterious phrase, “We shall become like God, because we shall see him as he really is.”
Seeing God, in other words, will change us utterly, and for ever afterwards. Seeing God, or salvation, is a pure gift that always comes from the Father. It was made visible and realised in his divine Son made man, and it is only through the action of the Holy Spirit that it is made effective in each of us. In the New Testament we are told that “in one Spirit we have access through Christ to the Father” (Eph 2:18). But the descent of God to us must be answered by an ascent of the human soul to God. We will be successful in this, if and only if, we break free from the sinful pursuits which hold us captive. Then like mirrors, as St Paul says, we will reflect the brightness of the Lord, until finally we are turned into that image which we reflect (2 Cor 3:17f). All glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
Embraced by God (Jack McArdle)
In his own words, Jesus tells us simply and directly why he came, why the Father sent him, and the results accruing to those who accept the truth of what he says.
The Trinity, of course, is pure mystery, and there is no way, through use of a three-leafed shamrock, or any other sign or symbol, that I can hope to explain a mystery; and this one, in particular. However, some of the following ideas may help. I have a glass of water, a glass filled with ice cubes, and a third glass filled with snow. In actual fact, each glass contains water in some different form or condition. God is spoken of as “Father’, because he is the source of life. He reaches out two arms of love to embrace and draw his children to himself. The first arm is Jesus. Jesus did what he was sent to do, and then he returned to the Father. The Father then sent the Spirit (the second arm), to complete the work begun by Jesus. Jesus paid the price to free us from bondage and slavery, and the Spirit leads us out into freedom from that same bondage and slavery. “The Spirit will lead you into truth, and the truth will set you free.” It can help to think of the Trinity in terms of being embraced by God. After al, it is our eternal destiny to share in the life of the Trinity for all eternity.
Thomas Aquinas tells us that when we speak of God there is only one thing we can be sure of: that we’re wrong! No matter what we say about him, he is so much more than that. The only way we can get a “handle” on God, if I may use that expression, is to quote John’s comment that “God is love.” Even though he is so much more than that, at least we know, when we say that, we are telling the truth. In recent years, it has become a feature of an Irish international soccer match to see someone in the crowd holding up a placard with “John3:16” written on it. Those are the opening words of today’s gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life.” I’m not too sure that the placard will change the hearts of those who see it but, at least, it presents us with the core of the gospel message, and, who knows, maybe the reminder could recall some of us to reflecting on that message.
Guilt is not from God. In Revelations 12 (the last book of the Bible), Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren. He accuses them day and night before God.” A leading psychiatrist with the Eastern Health Board told me one time that he could discharge two-thirds of his patients from all the psychiatric hospitals in his care, if he could get them deal with their guilt. The tragedy is that most of that guilt has come from religion! “The sin of this world is unbelief in me,” says Jesus. He states clearly that he came to save the world, not to condemn it. All he asks is that I trust him, and take him at his word.
He says there is no judgement awaiting those who trust him. I could change the opening words slightly, and not change the message in any way. “God so loved me that he gave his only Son, so that, if I believe in him, I will not be lost, but will have eternal life.” It is no exaggeration to say that, if I were the only person on this planet, Jesus would still have td come to redeem me, and the Spirit would have to come to lead me home to the Father. I know we’re dealing with mystery here, but somehow I can accept the fact that God can actually give any one of us his complete and undivided attention, and his total love, without depriving anyone else of the same. It is difficult for our little minds to grapple with the idea of infinity!
Response: “Unrequited love” is a fanciful way of describing love that is given, but gets no response in return. OK, the whole idea and concept of love comes from God, who is the source of all love. Love, however, by its nature, requires a response. It has the ability to generate itself. God’s love for me actually generates in me some desire to respond to that love. Mother Teresa used to say that the hunger for love is a much greater hunger than the hunger for food in today’s world. One of the many prayers to the Holy Spirit which has stood the test of time, contains the words “enkindle within us the fires of divine love.” I’m sure I myself rattled off that prayer for years, and I never really under stood how important it is. However, better late than never!
Do you really believe that God loves you? Do you have the courage to accept the acceptance of God? If I tell you that God loves you exactly as you are right now, I would be telling you the truth, but it would not be the complete truth. The complete truth is to say that God loves you exactly as you are right now, but he loves you more than that, or he’d leave you the way you are right now! “Lord, I confess to you that I’m not as good as I ought to be, but I thank you that I’m a bit better than I used to be!’
Let’s just think for a moment about a young woman who is pregnant, and who is delighted that she is. She is a reflective soul, and she loves to spend some time on her own each day, contemplating the miracle that is happening within. As time goes by, she is more and more conscious of the stirring of new life within her, and her response is a whole-hearted and a grateful yes. Her prayer has never been more profound, even if she is not conscious that she is praying. She is in the midst, and in the process of creation; she is opening her heart totally to the possibility and to the potential. Her baby is already being created and nourished with love. This is a sacred time, and hers is a sacred call. There is a trust that is totally dependent on the process, and it is not a trust that she would have in herself of her own ability to see this through. That trust is nurtured by the love she experiences; it is that love that strengthens her trust. She just believes that all will be well.
“For God so loved the world.” When Jesus speaks of the great love of the Father, he immediately appeals for trust in that love. Jesus entered the womb of the world. His coming among us was an expression of the Father’s hug. “They who see me, see the Father; they who hear me, hear the Father, because I and the Father are one.”
First Reading: Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9
So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, “The Lord.”
The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. He said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”
Second Reading: First Epistle to the Corinthians 13:11-13
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Gospel: John 3:16-18
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.