Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Lent
March 14, 2021
By Sr. Geraldine Conklin, OSU
Today’s readings give us pause to reflect on our humble humanity and God’s expansive love. The readings remind us that we are sinners. So often we revert to the base urgings of our humanity. So often we ignore the promptings of the Spirit. So often we turn from the God who loves us and has already forgiven us. Are we willing to turn and face the God who loves us with an everlasting love?
In the first reading (2 Chronicles) Zedekiah refuses to repent and return to God. The Temple of Jerusalem, “which the Lord himself made holy” is defiled. After many warnings by the prophet the Temple is destroyed and the people are banished to Babylon, where they live a life of slavery.
But does God abandon his people? No. God has already forgiven them. But it takes the people many years to face the God who loves them. Finally as Chronicles tells us, “In the first year that Cyrus was emperor, the Lord directed the Emperor to build a temple in Jerusalem in God’s honor”. And so it is done. Once again God’s people gather in the Temple, and the Lord is with them. Once again our humble humanity is redeemed by God’s expansive love.
In Ephesians Paul’s expression of God’s mercy and love is so great that, despite our turning away, God willingly brings us into a life with Christ. Despite our faults, God unites us with Jesus. Despite our selfishness, God raises us up to be one with Jesus. St Paul shouts at us saying “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” God is waiting for us to turn to him so he can pour his grace upon us. Once again, our humble humanity is redeemed by God’s expansive love.
Finally, in the Gospel, John reiterates that we are already redeemed by God’s expansive love. He proclaims: God loved us so much he gave us Jesus, so we might live not die; so we might be saved not condemned; so we might be light in the dark; so we might have eternal life.
What more can you ask? God is waiting. How will you respond?