March 14: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Posted by Campus Ministry on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 8:00 AM PDT
Interpreting our lived human experience through the lens of faith, we come to know more of who God is and who we are. For the people of ancient Israel, whose story we hear about in the first reading, their captivity and their subsequent liberation brought them to encounter a God who tirelessly labors out of love for the transformation and renewal of creation. When the Israelites think that they must be so far from what God has dreamed for the world, they experience God as one who doesn’t abandon, but rather, one who constantly calls them back into a loving and empowering relationship. We are never far from the grace of God.
The first few lines of today’s Gospel are some of the most well-known lines of the Bible: “God so loves the world.” The grace of God is not only this incredibly beautiful gift, it is also a responsibility: God so loves the world, through us. Rabbi Kushner in one of his poems ends with, “To another, whether you know it or not / Whether they know it or not / You are a messenger from the Most High.” God’s dreams for this world are embodied through us. We are part of making that happen. May we not forget that God is always laboring out of love in transforming our world. Let’s join in, shall we?
Lent is a time of preparing ourselves for the Resurrection - this reality that shouts from the rooftops that the destruction of the human spirit and the human body will never have the last word. Since we know the end of the story, why live any other way? Let us live into the promise – already here, but not yet fulfilled – of the Resurrection. So, as we round the corner closer to Easter, let us take the time to reflect: Where has the darkness pervaded our hearts that has kept us from living more fully into the promise of the Resurrection? Where do we need God’s grace and mercy to transform our lives? Are we open to receiving that grace?
God so loves the world. God so loves you. God so loves everyone else, no exceptions, ifs, ands, or buts. So what are we waiting for? Can we bring our darkness to God, trusting in our transformation for the good of this world?