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Fourth Sunday of Lent - Year B

Sunday, 11 March, 2018
John 3:14-21

The Word of God this Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is full of good news for anyone who feels that their lives have become deadened, grey, and dull.

These scriptures call us to be humble and courageous enough to step out of the shadows of sin and half-believing, into the radiant brightness and colour and life that comes from knowing the risen Jesus as a personal friend and a personal liberator from sin, guilt, shame and even from death itself.

The first reading from the second book of Chronicles tells what disaster naturally befalls a faith community when it becomes secularised and sinful.  It withers away, and needs painful pruning, and fresh graces from above, before God’s life and presence can return.

The psalm is an ancient prayer of lament from the human heart that finds its sins have exiled it from God, and expresses its yearning to have communion with him restored.  As such, this psalm would be a beautiful aid to meditation before our Easter confession.

In the second reading the Holy Spirit, through Saint Paul writing to the Ephesians, majestically describes the heaven-sending power of grace available since God’s mercy was revealed and unleashed on Calvary.  With this power God transforms us into his most radiant works of art.

In the Gospel of John we hear Jesus himself teaching Nicodemus - the very one who the scriptures say had first sneaked his way to Jesus in the darkness of fear - that God wants all his children to be brave, and to leave the world of shadow and darkness behind.

God’s power is available to us through Jesus, to give us the healing and blessed assurance we need to step out with joy into the liberating light of living faith.

- Fr Conor Cunningham PP
Lisdoonvarna, Kilshanny and Doolin