By Fr Paul Gooley
Some years ago, when we used to land on and explore the moon. Space engineers were designing the space suits for the two pilots. One pilot was in charge of the lunar module, which was to go down and land on the moon, and the other pilot was in charge of the command module, which was orbiting around the moon.
Part of the design of each space suit was an umbilical cord which was basically long flexible tubing. The purpose of this umbilical cord was to supply oxygen to the astronauts when they walk in space or when they went from one module to another.
The command pilots suit was called this – J 3:16 and the other suit of the lunar pilot was called J 3:17.
The designer of the suits was a man called Frank Denton and he named these suits after the two passages of scripture that we find in today’s Gospel (John 3:14-21). So, one suit was named after John 3:16 and the other is named after John 3:17.
Frank’s reason for naming the suits this way was this. Just as the suits supply the astronauts with the oxygen they need to survive on their journey so John 3: 16 & 17 supply us with what we need to survive in our journey from earth to heaven.
Let’s have a look at these two verses:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
And John 3:17 – Indeed, God did not send the son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
As we continue our Lenten preparations these two passages of scripture remind us that we are preparing ourselves to celebrate Easter, which is only 3 weeks away. We are preparing to celebrate the life and death of God’s only son who was sent so that each of us may be saved and have eternal life.
Deep inside our hearts are we really ready to celebrate the true, life giving meaning of Easter this year or will Easter come and go simply as a bit of chocolate that offers no real life at all.