4th Sunday of Lent

Christ The King From the Parish Priest's Desk

God so Loved the World…

The fourth Sunday of Lent is sometimes called Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” Even as we observe our Lenten sacrifices, we rejoice in anticipation of the joy that will be ours at Easter. Nicodemus is at the centre of today’s gospel. We can learn by reflecting on Nicodemus and how he grew in his relationship with Jesus. He began by showing an interest and wanting to know about Jesus. We see him as a genuine seeker of the truth and this gradually leads him to become a disciple of Jesus. The gospel of John shows him as a seeker, moving progressively from the darkness to the light. In today’s gospel we hear Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus says: “The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so that those who believe may have eternal life in him.” Jesus so adapted the image of the bronze serpent that it comes alive in his own person, as he hangs agonizingly upon the cross. Both the bronze serpent and Jesus crucified symbolize ‘Sin’. “To believe” means that we see the terrible effects of our evil in Jesus and so accept sin’s toll on ourselves. Our own selves cut their shape upon Jesus, yet Jesus’ peace and grace cure and transform our weakness. God so loved the world, that through his Son’s death Light comes into the world. Light allows us to see ourselves, others and our entire world as it is in Christ! When we choose goodness we are choosing Jesus. When we look at the real world of today and prayerfully seek God’s will and courageously follow it, we will come to the realization that “salvation is ours through faith. This is not our own doing, it is God’s gift. When God has thus “in Christ Jesus raised us up,” we must rejoice. This day will rightly become “Rejoice” Sunday.