Jesus reveals the love of the Almighty Father to Nicodemus and warns of condemnation of those who persist in evil. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Hope so he can prepare for his personal Judgment and by growing in the Virtue of Chastity so he can battle against the deadly evil sin of Lust.
2nd Week of Easter – Wednesday – Jn 3:16-21
After approaching Jesus in the dark of the night, Nicodemus, a member of the ruling Jewish council (the Sanhedrin), is emphatically told by Jesus that men must be born from “on high” with a baptism by the Holy Spirit and that He is the Son of Man from Heaven, who will be crucified. Jesus rebuked Nicodemus for his lack of understanding, but with great mercy, begins to reveal His true identity and mission. Jesus confirms the stark choice each man must make to seek salvation or face condemnation.
Jesus reveals the beautiful truth. God exists. God is to be known as the Father and the Father has an only Son. Out of love, God the Father has sent the Son into the world to be the Savior of men. The Son is the light which enlightens and empowers good men who believe in Him and do good deeds (the “true”). Men’s good deeds are not the result of their goodness but occur because God performs good works through those who believe in Him and who accept His grace. Each man who believes and does good works through God is a testimony (“may be clearly seen”) to the world, which gives glory to God and also secures a man’s own salvation in Jesus.
Jesus also gives men a deadly warning of the Judgment and the reality of condemnation. Men who rebelliously refuse to believe in Jesus, the only Son of God, are condemned and will perish (Greek : ἀπόλλυμι, meaning to be “utterly destroyed”). Evil men, who hate God, run from Jesus, the Light of the World, for He exposes their evil; evil men love their sins and seek to hide under the cover of darkness. God’s condemnation awaits the evil.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be encouraged by what Jesus says in His discussion with Nicodemus: Jesus confirms He is the Son of God and the Savior of the world; His first-person witness to God the Father confirms God’s Truth and Love for men (CCC 214-231) and gives Hope; Jesus, the perfection of Justice, confirms the principle of Vindication (a part of Justice) in the Judgment of men, assuring believers who do good deeds of their salvation, and Warning that the evil who do evil deeds, will be condemned.
Hope in Jesus and prepare for your Judgment
Realize: In addition to assuring men that God loves and desires for every man to be saved, Jesus confirms the truth that each man freely chooses by his belief and behavior, to be either saved or condemned in the Judgment; every Catholic man can be filled with hope, for Christ will save those who believe and strive for holiness.
Believe: Reflect upon the reality that “He will come again in glory to judge…” (CCC 668-682).
Pray: Jesus, Only Source of Hope, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I always trust in Your love, power and promise of salvation, and strive to grow in faith and holiness in preparation for my own Judgment.
Forcefully battle lust and strive for Chastity
Realize: Men view pornography and masturbate in the darkness of privacy, hiding from the Light of Christ and hiding their sinful addictions from their wives, girlfriends, children, co-workers; viewing pornography and masturbation are grave sins fueled by the Vice of Lust (CCC 2396).
Believe: Reflect upon Chastity (CCC 2348-2359, 2392-2396).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Chastity, help me build the Virtue of Chastity (a part of Temperance) so I am freed from the soul-killing slavery to pornography, grow in purity and modesty, and live in the freedom of chastity.