Oh, John 3:16.
I see it plastered on Forever 21 bags, In-N-Out cups, and Instagram bios everywhere. When I was just beginning to know the Lord, I proudly had everyone’s favorite verse henna tattooed on me on spring break years ago. Now, I’m so quick to brush past it in familiarity. After all, I’ve heard it a million times.
Yet, I still don’t really think I get it.
“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.”
How do we possibly respond to that?
A God who sacrifices His only son as a result of His undying, burning love for me is a God who makes me uncomfortable. My heart’s natural response is to scatter and seek out all the ways I can begin to earn a salvation as intimate as the one that the Gospel speaks of. I constantly find myself lost in the checklist of things I need to be before I encounter the Lord, consumed by the mindset that I need to perform for His love. My relationship with Him becomes a vicious cycle of me coming back to the question: how could I be worthy of a God who not only pursues my salvation, but does so because He desires eternity with me?
The mystery of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity captures the reality that we are wildly unworthy, yet received as we are. Christ saw our greatest messes, our unfinished checklists, and our doubts as He carried His cross to Calvary. Yet, He surrendered to the Father and chose redemption and mercy, in exchange for the option that we would choose Him. There are no amount of accomplishments or finished checkpoints that allow us these graces; there are no amount of shortcomings or failures that take them away. Your “yes” is enough.
It is only through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, that we can lean into this reality, just as Moses did on Mount Sinai. Let us be overwhelmed with praise for a three-person God who never asks us to perform for His love, but simply be.
Say yes today.
Sarah Erickson is a politics pre-law major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Arizona, she finds great joy in mountains, lattes, American history, and the piano. She is constantly discovering Christ’s wild love in the little things. You can find out more about her here.