Fourth Sunday of Lent
Jesus was born because “God so loved the world.”
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
my soul can reach when feeling out of sight
for the ends of being and ideal grace.
These words of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning reflect a bit of the all-encompassing character of human love. Our love is a reflection of divine love and participates in it. Maybe these words could well be placed on the lips of God this Sunday. All our readings reflect the love and mercy of God.
During the first three weeks of Lent, we considered our relationship with God and the privileges and responsibilities that flow from it. Today we turn our gaze on God’s relationship with us. We recognize that despite our sins, God continues to love us and invites us into His life. God always offers us new chances. Such is the “depth and breadth and height” of God’s love.
We also remember that God does not force anything upon us. We are free to choose. We can accept God’s loving gestures, or we can refuse them. We see this in today’s readings. Before the Israelites could return to their land, they had to return to God. In the Gospel account, Nicodemus was told that people can choose to believe or not believe in Christ; they can prefer darkness to the light. There has always been a choice. Today the choice is ours to make. Will we make it?
O God, who enlighten everyone who comes into this world, illuminate our hearts with the splendor of Your grace, that we may always choose what is worthy and pleasing to You and love You in all sincerity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Michael Cronogue, S.S.E., Director of Vocations
ScriptureFirst 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