Sunday, March 15th, The Fourth Sunday Of Lent
By: Judy Morss
By: Judy Morss
Second Book of Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 2:4-10
Gospel according to John 3:14-21
This Sunday is Laetare Sunday; Laetare meaning rejoice. Today is just past the halfway point of Lent. As part of our rejoicing, the priest and deacon may be wearing rose colored vestments and flowers may adorn the altar in some parishes.
We rejoice because we are reminded of all the ways that God reaches out to us in mercy. Chronicles tells us that the people of Judah rejected God and " added infidelity to infidelity." God became so angry with them that he withdrew His protection. Jerusalem was destroyed and those who lived were made captives in Babylonia. Jeremiah foretold there would be seventy years of torment before there would be relief. Then God had compassion for His chosen people; they were offered a second chance through the mercy of the foreign king, Cyrus. He allowed the people to return home and rebuild the temple.
St. Paul describes God as "rich in mercy, because of the great love He had for us." Even when we were dead in all our sins, God "brought us to life with Christ" -- by grace we have been saved, yet again.
John tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believed in him might not perish but might have eternal life." God is so forgiving and compassionate, we rejoice in His love for us. But we must do more than rejoice. We must remember that Christ died on the cross for love of us.
As I kneel before the Lord in adoration and as I look upon the cross, contemplating the face of Christ, I know and understand more deeply what Christ has done for me and for all of us. The question for me then becomes: What have I done for Christ, what am I doing for Christ and what should I be doing for Christ? As I continue my Lenten journey, I will search for answers to these questions and act upon those answers.
Peace and Blessings -- Judy