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Fourth Sunday of Lent


Readings:
1st Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14­-16, 19­-23

Responsorial: Psalm 137:1­-2, 3, 4­-5, 6
2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:4­1-0
Gospel: John 3:14­-21


Jesus wants us to know that he came to sacrifice himself for all of us. St Paul tells us that even when we were dead in our transgressions, our sins, Jesus's sacrifice was ours for the taking. This is why in today's Gospel, John says that whoever believes in him will not be condemned but whoever does not believe has already been condemned. What is implied is that this is a free choice that we all have to make and that our choices have consequences.

Where we end up for eternity will be no surprise for us, though others may be surprised. It is because of the choice that we must make for God on a daily basis and even many times throughout the day. Sin is always waiting for us and even though we know that Jesus is the light of the world, we still have a tendency to shun the light ­­ not just because it is hard to change for the better but also because we can wrongly think that God is like us in that we make it tough for others to change for the better at times, because we like to remind others of their sinfulness especially when our consciences reproach our very selves. God offers us merciful forgiveness not beratement. He does not remember our past sins, once forgiven.

Today is Laetare Sunday. The Church asks us to rejoice because the time of Lenten penance is coming to a close. We use rose vestments instead of violet to reflect that hope. The absolute and complete happiness of Heaven awaits all of us if we so choose.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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