Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here
Today’s Gospel reading is perhaps the best-known verse about the love of God, from the Gospel of John: “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.” God’s perfection is not the static, cold perfection of a mathematical algorithm, nor is his completeness located merely in his power and knowledge. His perfection and completion are most deeply revealed in relationship, in the giving of himself in ways we can only begin to comprehend.
God so loved that he gave. This essential theme is set at the start of John’s Gospel: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God ...” (Jn 1:12). The Triune God desires that we share in his divine life and be true children of God: “Beloved, we are God’s children now” (cf 1 Jn 3:1-3). How does that come about? Through a new birth, carried out by the power of the Third Person of the Trinity in the sacrament of baptism: “Jesus answered, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit’” (Jn 3:5). Sacraments are not mere symbols, of course, but “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us” (CCC 1131). By baptism — in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit — “we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light” (CCC, No. 265).
Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.