The central theme of today’s readings is that our salvation is the free gift of a merciful God, given to us sinners through Jesus, His Son. The readings stress God’s mercy and compassion and remind us of the great love, kindness and grace extended to us in Christ.
Today’s Gospel has a parallel theme, but on a much higher level. Jesus, the Son of God, became the agent of God's salvation, not just for one sinful nation but for the sinfulness of the whole world. Through John 3:16, the Gospel teaches us that God expressed His love, mercy and
compassion for us by giving His only Son for our salvation.
We need to love the cross, the symbol of God’s forgiving and merciful love: As a forceful reminder not only of God's love and mercy, but also of the price of our salvation, the crucifix invites us to more than generosity and compassion. It inspires us to remove the suffering of other people’s misery. It encourages us not only to feel deep sorrow for another’s suffering but also to try our best to remove that suffering. Hence, let us love the cross, wear its image and carry our own daily cross with joy, while helping other to carry their heavier crosses.

Excerpt from Homilies of Fr. Anthony Kadavil on John 3:14-21 available at