March 22, 2009

God's Promises

In today's Old Testament reading (2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23) - one of the later histories of the Jews - God puts His chosen people on "time out". Like a good father, God corrects and punishes when He must. Like a good shepherd, He keeps the flock in line - even if it takes sheepdogs barking and biting to do it.

God corrects and punishes, but He keeps His promises to us. We can count on God, as we see constantly throughout the Bible. God saw the Jews released from slavery in Babylon, as He promised. As He promised Adam and Eve, He freed mankind from sin and death, for "even when we were dead in our transgressions, (God) brought us to life with Christ" (Eph 2:5).

A good father does not only give, but takes when necessary. God is Our Father, as we pray at each Mass - as Jesus taught us - and Our Father must keep His children on the right path. But remember that most famous line from John's Gospel - that "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" (John 3:16). Just after that well-known verse, John emphasizes that "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved" (John 3:17).

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