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4th Sunday of Lent – B

4th Sunday of Lent – B                                                                                                                              

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 

The Gospel for “Rejoice Sunday” offers the essential story of the Bible in this most loved verse from John: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”   Everything in the Bible evolves around it. It reveals through action God’s desire to  create and restore humankind.

The first reading from Chronicles tells about the calamity that comes upon God’s people because of their indifference and infidelity, and how God puts all this to an end with the story of Israel’s restoration. Inspired by God, Cyrus, king of Persia lets the Israelites go from captivity and also charges them to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. God speaks through Isaiah that he knows our true worth, “You are precious in my sight, and I love you.” 

In the second reading St. Paul tells of God’s desire to rescue: “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our  transgression, brought us to life with Christ,” for “we are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus.”

The cross is the dominant symbol of our faith. During Lent we are invited to meditate in front of the Crucifix, and on Good Friday we come together to adore the Wood of the Holy Cross. It is not that we glorify suffering, but that we see in it just how far God is ready to go for love.

We are so valued that God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to save us. Knowing ourselves as precious in God’s sight should give us foundation to hope. So we pray today: “Father of peace, we are joyful in your Word, your Son Jesus Christ, who reconciles us to you.”

“Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her!” 

Fr. Joe