Father Patrick Butler, LC
Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone
up to heaven except the one who has come down
from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as
Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must
the Son of Man be lifted up, so that
everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
For God so loved the world that he gave his
only 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.
Introductory Prayer: Your word in the Gospel
reveals to me the beauty of the mystery of
the Cross. I open myself now to you with a
believing heart. Your love for humanity is so present
in what you say. You give me hope that
the world can be changed by your message of love.
I want to be more like you, a lover
of the Father, a lover of my brothers and sisters
to the point of giving my life for them.
Petition: Lord, exalt the cross in my mind
and my heart, that I might see it as
an instrument of love.
1. Jesus’ Identity: Nicodemus comes to
Jesus to find out who this miracle worker is. Jesus
tells him that he is the Son of Man
and God’s Son. He has come down from heaven and
will return there. Now that he has identified himself,
he has gotten Nicodemus’ attention and mine. His answer
to the first question does not satisfy us because it
has brought up several other questions. How can he
claim to be the Son of God when there
is but one God? If he is truly God’s Son,
why has he come down to earth? What does
he want or expect from me?
2. A Savior Greater Than
Moses: Moses had, at God’s command, led Israel out
of slavery in Egypt. When the people rebelled in
the desert, they were punished by fiery serpents that bit
them with poisonous venom. Moses intervened on their behalf,
making a bronze image of a serpent, placed on
a post; those who looked at it were saved. Jesus
saves humanity from its rebellion, not by a symbol
raised on a stick, but by sacrificing himself as
he was raised on a cross. He saves me not
from temporal death, but from eternal death. He is
indeed a Savior greater than Moses.
3. The Degree of God’s
Love: How much does the Father love me? If
we could measure love on a thermometer, God’s infinite
love would send the mercury out the end. His love
is boundless. What would he withhold from me if
he has already given his son to save me? My
sentiments upon contemplating the immensity of God’s love for
me should be gratitude, praise and a reciprocating love
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am
moved when I discover how much you love me.
You came down from heaven, becoming the Son of Man
so that I could know, love and imitate you.
You loved me to the extreme of offering yourself up
on the cross to save me from sin and
death. I want to love you in return to the
point of giving my life for you.
I will contemplate the cross as a symbol of
love, making it a symbol that says something to
me whenever I see it. I will try to bear
my cross today with love.