God loved the world so much…
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘God loved the world so much that God gave God’s only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because they have refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’
Nicodemus is a Jewish leader who has accepted Jesus as a teacher but is having difficulty grasping the true gift that Jesus offers, that is, what Jesus gives is ‘the right to become children of God.’ Offering a whole new quality of life – the life that God lives in eternity. Throughout John’s Gospel we watch characters such as Nicodemus as they respond to Jesus and grow in faith.
Mary Ward’s faith was astonishing. No doubt she had ‘felt knowledge’ of this new quality of life – the life that God lives in eternity. She courageously explains her three major visions to Antonio Albergati, the Papal Nuncio at Cologne in 1621.
Here she describes her first vision, known as the ‘Glory Vision’. “I had a second infused light in manner as before, but much more distinct…” Mary’s visions were subsequently not understood and hence rejected by authorities. Yet, the action of the Spirit in her enabled Mary and her companions to become missionaries in spite of tremendous opposition.
In the footsteps of people full of the Spirit, such as Mary Ward, where do I stand in regard to faith and this new quality of life that Jesus has offered?
I get in touch with my own desires. What is my God of everlasting life offering here?