John 3:16 and the Mystery of Humanity

Today’s Gospel is well-known to all of us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him migth not perish but might have eternal life.” It is the subject of much commentary and I blogged about it once before, focusing on the depth of God’s love (here).

What does it mean that God sent his only Son? That God became human? One expression of the meaning appears in Gaudium et spes, in a line I was reminded of last week when the celebrant of our Baccalaureate Mass quoted it in his homily: Only in the mystery of Jesus Christ the Word Made Flesh does the mystery of humanity truly become clear. Christ reveals us to ourselves. “He not only provided us with an example for our imitation, He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.”

Through the Incarnation and life and death of Jesus, we learn what it means to be fully human. We learn who we are and who we are meant to be.