March 15, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 32 (NAB Translation) (Jerusalem Bible Translation)
This is another week where there are 2 different readings depending on whether there are scrutinies happening at the mass you attend this weekend. Those readings come from year A, and we are currently in year B.
The fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as Laetare Sunday, and we see the rose colored vestments come out instead of purple (where available).
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
This week’s first reading from the book of Chronicles sets the stage and informs us of how Judah fell into infidelity from the Lord and ended up in exile. The unknown writer of the book of Chronicles focuses on an important truth of identity. In their joint defeat, they cannot find peace in their homeland, instead the message here is to root their identity in the Lord and His temple.
The House of God is their treasured home that they long for as a people, and now as Christians, we take comfort in knowing that each parish houses the same Lord and we encounter the even greater sacrifice at each mass.
Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
- (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Church of Ephesus is a vivid reminder that our unfaithfulness as His people has earned us nothing. Even still, in His infinite mercy, the Lord has chosen to gift us our salvation out of His goodness, and we are simply unable to work for it. In this precious and unequivocal gift, Jesus raises us up with Him.
Sometimes, this is the part of Lent when we start to get tired and feel like giving up our Lenten journey. This gives us hope.
Verse Before The Gospel
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
The fourth Sunday of Lent’s Gospel is reminder of the hope that we encounter in this great season. This part of St John’s Gospel is a bold reminder of what the Father did for us, that He gave us His only Son, so that we might have life. It all comes down to a choice, and whether we choose to believe and live out the choice for the rest of our lives. This is what the Gospel is all about.
We are around the halfway point of Lent, and we hear the great call to hope and joy, “O be joyful, Jerusalem!” Jesus is raised up on the cross for us as a sign of hope, not for despair and defeat. Our little sacrifices help unite us in tiny ways to the suffering He endured for us. While it doesn’t earn us salvation any more, it makes the powerful reality of the cross present in a vivid way in our life.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
- Jesus recalled Moses lifting the serpent so the Israelites could be healed of their snakebites. Consider spending some time in prayer this week for those who need healing.