4th Sunday of Lent – A Life Worth Living

Beautiful Life - People

Study:  When have you sensed and recognized the precious value of life?  How did you respond?

Pray:  Offer prayers for those who struggle to embrace the gift of their lives.

Serve:  Is there someone nearby who is overcome by weakness, failure, or struggle?  How can you help?

4th Sunday of Lent Readings

The philosopher in me ponders a recurring question:  Why does God bother with us?  Why does the Lord of all creation seem to care about us?  Why does God have anything to do with us, especially when the universe is such a big place?  After all, why would God want to spend time caring for over seven billion people – aren’t there more important things to do?

Consider the role God plays in the readings this week:
1st – God chooses us according to our hearts.
Psalm – God shepherds us in our need.
2nd – God enlightens us in our darkness.
Gospel – God heals in our weakness.

In all four cases, God is acting on our behalf, despite our weakness, failings, and struggles.  The Lord continues to reach out to people, making hope possible in the midst of the challenges of life.  It does not seem to matter that people make mistakes or fall short of their abilities.  God still seems to care.

We are told that we are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), and we are told that God loved us so much he sent Jesus (John 3:16). What then can we learn about the Lord from these readings we hear today?

It seems to me that throughout these readings we discover that God values our lives, even when they are broken and limited by sickness and sin. God looks at us, with all our faults, and rejoices whenever we turn our hearts and minds to Jesus.

If the Lord finds joy in our lives, however feeble or faint, should we not do the same?  If God was willing to give us Jesus that we might have eternal life, should we not reflect on just how powerful this gift of life really is and act accordingly?

When we acknowledge that God acts for us because God loves us – completely, sincerely, and out of a thorough knowledge of all our sins – then we have hope.  We recognize that life is precious, and we find inspiration to make the most of this day, this moment, lest we lose even one opportunity to share our lives with God and one another.  With understanding comes this simple fact: we possess a life worth living – made by God, redeemed by God, and sustained by God!

Once we believe that Jesus died because he loves us, then all the actions we see in the readings today make sense.  May we embrace what God has done for us, and share with joyful hearts a life worth living.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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