March11 - Fourth Sunday in Lent : The measure of God’s love

March 8th, 2018

4thSunLent-300x225.jpg

 

First Reading  2 Chronicles 36:14-16,19-23

The causes for the Israelites' captivity in Babylon are described.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 137:1-2,3,4-5,6

A lament from exile for the loss of Jerusalem

 

Second Reading  Ephesians 2:4-10

In grace we have been saved, so that we may do the work of the Lord.

 

Gospel Reading John 3:14-21

  

Nicodemus is a leading Jew who comes to Jesus from the darkness of the night but he finds difficult to understand beyond his Jewish upbringing and training. So Jesus trys to show him how the history of salvation, from the fall of Adam until the final judgment revolves around the coming of Jesus Christ, the savior, the Son of God. Why did the Father send him? Because he “loved the world so much”. God simply couldn't bear to see us perish in our sins: he longed to share with us his everlasting lifer. God cares. St. Augustine used to say that “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love”. Hence the verses 16 and 17 of the Chapter 3 of Johns Gospel is known as “the summery of the Bible” and “essence of the Gospel”. This is a cause for great JOY and so his 4th Sunday of Lent is also known as the “Laetare Sunday” which is the ‘Sunday of rejoicing’. The rose colour vestments used today are a symbol of that joy, like the pink horizon that comes before a beautiful sunrise. But in the life of Jesus, it is the “lifting up’. In the Cross that God’s love is made known to us in a powerful way. The Cross shows us how much God loves us. “To love is to give” and this is the message of the Cross. It is ‘sacrificial love’.  Can we love as Jesus loves? That means we should love without counting the cost and without expecting anything in return. Love through pain and suffering.