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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“John 3:16” – You still see this most famous of Biblical citations displayed at sporting events or on T-shirts. Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the “Sunday Soundbite” for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Today’s feast, marks the finding of the relic of Christ’s cross in the fourth century, and takes the place of our Sunday readings. Today’s Gospel includes that famous verse, John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son….”

I think the verse is so well loved because it summarizes what Christians believe: God’s overwhelming love for us is visible in Jesus Christ. Today’s feast draws attention to the cross of Jesus, the symbol of that great gift of God.

It’s a sign we Christians take for granted. But the cross points to a powerful story, one that moves from failure-the death of Jesus in incredible suffering and pain-to triumph-his victory over death in the resurrection. The cross proclaims John 3:16: We see Jesus, lifted up for all to see. We realize just how much God loves the world.

The problem is: Can we believe in such a great love? Can we accept what the cross signifies? Wearing a T-shirt with “John 3:16&lrdquo; on it is one thing; witnessing to God’s love in our world is quite another. Like Nicodemus in today’s Gospel, we must search out Christ in our own lives, and ask him to lead us to a deeper faith.

I’m Father Greg Friedman with the “Sunday Soundbite” for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the Web at