Fourth Sunday in Lent (B)

Requires some care and effort, and of course faith, understand the meaning of today´s gospel: God has sent his Son who will be raised up so that those who look upon him with faith may have eternal life[1]

Unbelievable but the sign of God’s power is the cross. The Son of Man is lifted up so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. We know very well that Jesus died for us to restore our friendship with God, however sometimes we live as if this were not important. Sometimes we see the cross as just an ornament, as a symbol. Wrong! Christ, put to death, is in control of the universe. What appears as defeat is really victory because the sacrifice of Christ initiates the reign of God. At his weakest, Jesus is the strongest. God is in control. He turns defeat into victory for those with a living faith in him.

We need to recognize this in our own struggles in life. When in our weakness, we are united to Christ's cross, we are at our strongest. We may be full of pain. Perhaps we have lost a loved one. A son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father, grandmother or grandfather dies. The grief comes upon us in waves. One minute we are numb, the next we are beyond consolation. But through it all we do believe in God. We call upon Him.  We give Him our pain. And eventually we realize that He is carrying us through our sorrows. Our grief has become our prayer. Through it all, we have become stronger. All because we let God take control.

Maybe, we have had a terrible disappointment. A job we thought was untouchable comes to a sudden end. The college does not accept us, or is more than our family can afford. We realize that a person we thought was a friend was really just using us. A relationship comes to an end, a marriage, a deep relationship of love, or a friendship we have valued over the years. Perhaps life is not turning out the way we expected. Blessed Mother Theresa once said, “If you want to give God a big smile, tell Him your plans.” It is easy to be disappointed in the world, in our lives, and particularly in ourselves. We have a choice, though. We can wallow in our grief, or we can take a huge step of faith and just ask God to make sense out of what appears to be nonsense.  We let Him take control. And He does.

My brother, my sister, life is too difficult to handle alone. We need help. All of us. He doesn’t want us to be in grief. He wants to heal us with His Love. We have Him. We need to trust in Him. Through it all God will take control.

When we are convinced that we can't handle things by ourselves and call upon God for help, we are at our strongest. Now we appreciate our need for Him in our lives. When we put all in His hands and act according to our consciences, even though this may be difficult and painful, then in our weakness we are strong.

God is in control. We have to tell ourselves that over and over.  If only we would allow him to be our strength, then nothing can defeat us. Not even the worse cross we could imagine can destroy his love in our lives. Today we pray that we might trust in God to be strength in our weakness ■

[1] Sunday 18th March, 2012, Fourth Sunday of Lent. Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you! Ps 136(137). Ephesians 2:4-10. John 3:14-21 [St Cyril of Jerusalem].

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris