Fourth Sunday of Lent
The readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent remind us of God’s initiative and graciousness in saving the world. God is seen to act on behalf of the Jewish people by first using tough love to awaken them to their unfaithfulness (their exile in Babylon) and then to move the heart of Cyrus to bring them back home after their time of punishment. Paul reminds the Ephesians that the God who is rich in mercy seeks to bring those who are spiritually dead because of their sins back to spiritual life through Christ. In the Gospel, we hear from Jesus how God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to save humanity. Thus, all is grace and the activity of God in our lives is a demonstration of love on His part, even in the face of our not deserving it.
There may be a lesson here for us. In our dealing with others, we too could demonstrate the same kind of graciousness with others that God has with us. A welcoming smile and an open invitation for others to be a part of our lives, not because they deserve it, but because they are fellow travelers in life, may be a way that we can reflect the love of God for all. By forgiving others for their offense and by valuing others in their difference, we may very well demonstrate the love that God has shown us.
Lent is not only a time to celebrate how much God has loved us. It can also be a time to share that love with others.
Gracious God, I give You thanks for Your great generosity to me in all things. I pray that I may learn from You how to be as welcoming as You to those I meet. This I pray in the name of Jesus, Your Son, who is gift of life and love. Amen.
Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E. ‘70, Adjunct Professor of First Year Seminar and Religious Studies
First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Second Reading: Ephesians 2:4-10
Gospel: John 3:14-21
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website