Fourth Sunday of Lent (B)

This Sunday of Lent (the fourth already!) we have the opportunity to reflect on a very important fact: God endowed man with wondrous gifts to use to find him, but instead mankind hid behind the gifts and refused to see or seek the Creator behind the creation[1].

The extent of man’s suffering the result of his own actions still effects us as we experience the horrors that man inflicts upon man, be they dictators or liberators, as we silently witness the death of children from sickness and famine, as we experience the destruction of marriages due to the impact of selfishness and materialism.

So, we call upon God during Lent to restore beauty to his world.  We call upon God to teach us once more what true love is. And God answers with the simple sentence that Jesus gave Nicodemus: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. My brother, my sister: love is experienced, beauty is restored, order defeats chaos, and goodness conquers sin through the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The power of God is greater than the machinations of man. In today’s second reading Paul tells the Ephesians and us that God is rich in mercy. He has tremendous love for us.  Even when we were dead in our transgressions, he brought us to life with Christ.

The awesome love that was displayed on the cross is the continual means of our salvation.  God has not thrown out his canvas. He is still completing his artwork. Only, we must now be his paintbrushes. We have to paint over the smudge marks of hatred with the Love of the Lord. We have to fill in the empty spots of selfishness with sacrificial love. We have to turn from the glorification of materialism to the determination to live the spiritual life given to us by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.

The restoration of God’s artwork began with Jesus, but it must continue with us. Are we really ready and open for this? For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation[2]

[1] 4th Sunday of Lent B, March 15, 2015. Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23; Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21.
[2] 2 Corinthians 6:2.

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