Our God is both love and mercy. As we encounter hardships that make our faith difficult to practice, we tend to forget this truth. We turn our backs on the Lord and assign the blame to God who is responsible for all that is good. Luckily, in today’s gospel, we are reminded that Jesus “did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” This verse from John’s account is fundamental for an understanding of our religion.

What hardships have I encountered within the last week? During these difficult times, did I acknowledge that God’s presence in my life is representative of his love and mercy and ultimate desire to save me from condemnation, or did I turn my back on Him and feel helpless and in need of assistance? Put all that is separating you from God to the side, and accept his love and mercy.

Joe Ertle is a junior at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He is a student leader for the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless, and will serve as vice-president for the Saint Ignatius Student Senate next school year.