Reflection for Wednesday, April 27, 2022: 2nd Week of Easter.

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Brock, Mary
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|"John 3:16" can be seen everywhere.  When watching a sporting event you can see a fan strategically holding a poster with "John 3:16."  When walking around a shopping district you will see John 3:16 printed on shopping bags.  Specialty t-shirts promote "John 3:16" as do home and office decor plaques.  You may see protesters wield placards with John "3:16" in bold paint strokes.  The intentions behind the efforts vary greatly from a desire to evangelize, to have a tangible reminder of one's faith, to shame someone or perhaps to virtue signal.|In the field of conflict resolution we invite people to focus less on trying to decode the intentions of another and rather focus on the impact of the words and actions.  So today we are invited to explore the impact of John 3:16: 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.|In these joyous days of the Easter Season there can be no better focus than this simple yet profound statement of our Christian faith.  It is no wonder than when selecting a verse from the Bible to place on posters, bags, plaques and placards, "John 3:16" is the choice.  Yet it is not enough to simply promote the verse, we must accept the mantle of responsibility for the glorious gift from God to live our faith.|Our responsibility to share the good word of God comes to mind as I pray with today's first reading from Acts.  We hear how the Apostles, who had been jailed by the Sudducees who rejected the resurrection of Jesus, were mysteriously freed from jail: But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, "Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life." When they heard this, they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.|In this season of Easter as we celebrate the promise of eternal life from God's loving gift, we need to ask ourselves how can we invite others to this celebration.  We can ask God to show us what prison walls such as greed, envy, fear, and distraction are holding us from fully living our faith.  We can pray for the grace of courage to speak what we know to be true.  We can strive to respectfully meet others where they are as we share the joy of our faith in God.|Our words and our actions can be guided by this final line in today's Gospel from John:  But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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