Fourth Sunday of Lent 2012
First Reading: 2 Chron.(36:14-16,19-23) The infidelity of the people and leaders of Israel led to
their destruction and exile.
Second Reading: Eph.(2:4-10) We do not earn God’s gift but we must actively respond to it.
Gospel: John (3:14-21) God loved us so much that he gave us his only Son.
The readings today focus us on the theme of God’s healing mercy. In a reminder to us of readings we’ve heard during Advent, the passage from 2 Chronicles tells us how the unfaithful people of Israel were punished and taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Their temples were destroyed and the survivors were made slaves. The haunting beauty of the responsorial psalm is some indication of the depth of their sadness. But God’s mercy intervenes and their freedom is won. In the second reading, Paul reminds us that it is not our doing that we are saved, but free gift from a merciful and loving God. John then completes the theme by telling us how God sent his only Son so that we might not perish but have eternal life. Our faith tells us that the light of Christ is so great that no darkness - no evil - no sin - can ever overpower it. If we allow God into our hearts he will bring healing to the darkness that so often besets our spirits. We can choose to remain in darkness, but every lent we are invited to turn our hearts back to God, to be healed of our emotional and spiritual ills, and to respond in faith and love to the message of the cross.
– Patty Fowler, PBVM Associate