for Sunday, March 11, 2018
Rejoice in the Lord! This Fourth Sunday of Lent is always about rejoicing. We rejoice because we have made it halfway through Lent! We rejoice because the Lord continues to call us His people and to draw us to Himself. We rejoice because we know that Jesus came in the flesh for us, died for us and is raised from the dead for us.
The readings today make us very aware that we are still sinful humans, called to grow in faithfulness and love. The first reading is from the Second Book of Chronicles and gives us the sad history that God's people were unfaithful and finally taken from their own land into exile in Babylonia. The story does not end there, however. Instead this story gives us cause for rejoicing because God brings some of His people back to Judah, to Jerusalem, to rebuild the temple.
This account from the Second Book of Chronicles is a pattern that is repeated over and over in the life of our Jewish ancestors and also in the life of our Church. We humans find it difficult to remain faithful. When we are unfaithful, God allows us to suffer the consequences and then, quite often, at least a remnant will return to the Lord. Then there is rejoicing!
The second reading is from the Letter to the Ephesians and speaks again about our human failings and God's mercy. "God, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ. It is the gift of God."
Finally today's Gospel from Saint John tells us "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. . . Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God."
Our hearts are hardened and our ears are closed and so often we do not listen to these words of the Lord. Even when we do listen to them, often we do not believe them. Today, on the Sunday of Lent when we should rejoice, let us open our hearts and listen to God. He only wants to tell us that He loves us and invites us to live a life of commitment to Him.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36.14-17a, 19-23++
Second Reading: Ephesians 2.4-10
Gospel: John 3.14-21
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: