4th Sunday of Lent (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Season of Lent. (B)
Sunday 11th March: Fourth Sunday of Lent. (B)
In the first reading, from the second Book of Chronicles, we are reminded that, even when he punishes his people for their infidelity, God cannot but be faithful. He uses even those who are pagans to lead his people back to the Promised Land.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Ephesians. By his grace, God had saved his people from exile. By God’s grace again, his Son, Jesus, saves us from the death of sin. In God’s plan, everything is a free gift of grace.
In the Gospel, from St. John, we are reminded that Jesus had to die on the cross to save us and give us the opportunity of eternal life. Christ came not to condemn us but to save us.
Monday 12th March: Monday in the fourth week of Lent
For people who believe, the golden age lies in the future, not in the past, says the Prophet Isaiah. For the believer there is a new world to be built as a sign of the new heaven. The building up of this new world begins seriously in Christ. His word renews people. Faith in him brings life and healing, something to live for.
Tuesday 13th March: Tuesday in the fourth week of Lent.
Water flows from the temple and turns the land into a fertile paradise bringing health and life we hear in the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel. This living temple is Christ, says John in the Gospel. Encountering him brings forgiveness health and life.
Wednesday 14th March: Wednesday in the fourth week of Lent.
When Jesus is questioned and attacked for curing a paralyzed man on the Sabbath, he uses the opportunity to remind the people that the work of redemption on which he is embarked with the Father, is ongoing, even on the Sabbath. He is the sign of God’s love for his people and wants us to live in that love. With Jesus, we have to seek the Father’s will for own lives.
Thursday 15th March: Thursday on the fourth week of Lent.
From today’s readings until those of Holy Week, the opposition between the Jewish leaders and Jesus grows. As the Hebrews had Moses as a mediator, we now have Jesus himself to act as our mediator who pleads our case with the Father. He is the one who opts for his people, who defends us, who is involved with us in spite of our failures.
Friday 16th March: Friday in the fourth week of Lent.
People who claim to know God a bit and to live consistently as his sons and daughters are seen as bothersome or eccentric to unbelievers as well as to those who take their religion as a set of duties or religious rites to be observed. Their way of life disturbs and challenges the established and comfortable ways of society. The unbeliever wants to test the faith of such people. The person who voices his concerns about this in the Book of Wisdom is one such person. Jesus was another. Where do we fit in?
Saturday 17th March: Feast of St. Patrick.
The Apostle of Ireland, as he is sometimes called, was born in Britain (either Wales or Scotland) around the year 385. At the age of sixteen, he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland where he was assigned as a shepherd to care for the flock. He became a catholic and later escaped to spend some time in France as a disciple of St. Germain of Auxerre. He was ordained a priest, then a Bishop and sent back to Ireland arriving there in 432. He preached and brought many of the tribal chiefs to Catholicism and was successful in adapting the Gospel to Irish culture. He convoked a Synod and handed over government of the church to other Bishops It is believed he died on this date in 461 and was buried in Stanford Lough where he had built his first church. Although venerated in Ireland from an early date it was only in 1632 he was listed in the Roman calendar.