Sunday Reflections

4th Sunday of Lent – March 10, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Fr. Jim Link, CR

[Note: If your parish is celebrating the Rites for Christian Initiation this Sunday, you will be using the Cycle A readings.  This reflection is on the Cycle B readings.]

If you watch any sports on television, no doubt you may have seen someone in the crowd of spectators holding up a sign with John 3:16 written on it.   “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son.”  Some say that this single sentence sums up the entire gospel.  Think about it:  we were — and are — in a world of rebellion, embroiled in our own sin and self-serving endeavors, and God, the creator who gave us this freedom in the first place, did not turn away from us in disgust or strike us with disappointed anger.  No, on the contrary, God sends us his most precious gift, his Son, and offers him to us as a sacrifice of love and forgiveness. Let that sink in for a moment.

John tells us that the Son came not to condemn us but to save us.  This was an invitation to turn toward the light of God.  But, make no mistake about it, if we choose to look away and turn toward the darkness, there will be consequences. I read once that we need to pray for the courage to accept acceptance, that is, the fact that God loves us as we are and not as we should be or could be.  That acceptance is frightening because in the face of this kind of love we have no control since it depends on nothing.  We can’t earn it, deserve it, merit it or push it away; it is always there.  But we can turn away from it.  However, if we do accept it, it will set us free.

Our gospel this Sunday challenges us to sit humbly before this incredible, unconditional love of God for each of us and the world and to let our minds and hearts turn toward the light of God. This alone is the promise of eternal life; any other direction is a lie and path into darkness.

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