4th Sunday of Lent – For God So Loved the World

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Study:  When have I experienced a profound moment of love?  How did that moment change my life?

Pray:  Ask for the grace to embrace and share God’s love with others.   Today.

Serve:  How might I put my love into action for another?  How might I show someone the love I have in my heart?

Pastoral Note: The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent provide an option for using the “Year A” readings at Mass for the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process.  At the Cathedral this year, we will be using Year A during these weeks for this very reason – but for those who follow the usual cycle the reflection is offered below.

4th Sunday of Lent Readings – Year B

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast – Year B

Do you ever wonder just how great God’s love really is?  How amazing?  How awesome?  I keep thinking about different analogies that show the reality of divine love when compared to human understanding.

For example:  If my entire awareness of God’s love could be viewed, it would be like a drop of water – compared to the Pacific Ocean of God’s love.  Or a grain of sand – compared to the Sahara Desert.  Or a single blade of grass – compared to the Midwest Prairie.

The fact is, there is no comparison that can truly show the height, depth, power, or magnitude of the love of God.  No analogy, no image, no description can do it justice…yet we can use our limited language to give us a hint:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  (John 3:16-17)

This is God’s demonstration of love.  Look at a Cross; listen to the Stations; read the Passion.  The love of God is not words or clever thoughts.  The love of God is manifest through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – out of love for us.

The question is – Do we believe it?  Do we accept in our hearts that this love is for us?  Do we live with the conviction that God values us, cherishes us, treasures us, forgives us, and loves us with this sort of intensity?

If we do believe, then our lives are forever changed.  If we receive these words and open our hearts, then God will come and transform us.  The Lord’s power is that great; once we say “Yes” to Christ we begin a process that will draw us steadily closer to God and one another.

We have heard these words so often that we can take them for granted.  We can overlook their meaning and miss the point.  Lent gives us time to search into our hearts and recognize this love for what it is – God’s way of calling us home.

May we be ready to respond!

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

One response to “4th Sunday of Lent – For God So Loved the World

  • Paul LaLiberte

    AMEN! In my opinion, we are much too introspective in Lent to the detriment of the message. He lived and died for us that we can be redeemed. While our personal lives may raise serious questions, any parent has a glimpse of God’s love when their children are doing things we as parents may not have or do approve, yet we love them …. that doesn’t mean we approve of their behavior, it means we love them so much that at some point we can and probably will forgive them for behaviors outside of our own paths. We are all loved by God and we have ALL been redeemed, if we accept our redemption. How we live this redeemed life with visible gratitude and love is the challenge. Fr. Andrew thank you for living redemption!

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