The Fourth Sunday of Lent

Posté par diaconos le 10 mars 2021

God sent his Son so that the world might be saved through him

 John 3:17 Inspirational Image

# This Sunday is currently also known as Mothering Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carême) and Rose Sunday (either because the golden rose (sent by Popes to Catholic sovereigns) used to be blessed at this time, or because the use of rose-colored (rather than violet) vestments was permitted on this day). Historically, the day was also known as « the Sunday of the Five Loaves, » from the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Before the adoption of the modern « common lectionaries », this narrative was the traditional Gospel reading for this Sunday in Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Old Catholic churches. The station church at Rome for this day was Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, one of the seven chief basilicas; the Golden Rose, sent by Popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time and for this reason the day was sometimes called Dominica de Rosa. In Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Old Catholic churches flowers may appear on the high altar and the organ may be played as a solo instrument.

# Moses, the first prophet of Judaism, is the most important figure in the Hebrew Bible, receiving the Law for Judaism, prefiguring Jesus Christ for Christianity and preceding the Prophet Muhammad for Islam. For the Jewish and Christian monotheistic traditions, Moses is the divinely inspired author of the Pentateuch, that is to say, of the first five books of the Bible, books which constitute the Jewish Torah and are called the « Law of Moses » in both religions. Moses also wrote « under the dictation of God » the Decalogue and a whole set of religious, social and dietary laws.

In addition to this idea of a Mosaic writing under God’s dictation known as the « Written Torah », the rabbis also attribute to Moses the « Oral Torah » which is the commentaries to the Law codified in the Mishnah. In Islam, Moses – under the name of Musa – is the prophet most present in the Koran, quoted one hundred and thirty-six times. He is one of the « great prophets », considered as one of the messengers sent by Allah and he announces the Prophet Muhammad. The mosaic narratives of the Koran refer to the Pentateuch and the Aggada but also offer original episodes, insisting on the parallelism between Muhammad and Moses.

lwf0003web.gif

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John

At that time, Jesus said to Nicodemus: « As the bronze serpent was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not be lost, but should have eternal life.

For God sent his Son into the world, not to judge the world, but that through him the world might be saved. Whoever believes in him escapes judgment, and whoever does not believe is already judged, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And the Judgement is this: light has come into the world, and men preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.

He that doeth evil hateth the light: he cometh not into the light, lest his works be reproved: but he that doeth truth cometh into the light, that it may be made manifest that his works were done in union with God.  » (Jn 3, 14-21).

it was necessary that the Son of Man should be raised up

Jesus endeavoured to initiate Nicodemus into heavenly things, which only he alone could reveal. In order to make the mystery of his redemptive work accessible to Nicodemus, Jesus borrowed a magnificent symbol from the Old Testament that was well known to his interlocutor and, applying it to himself, he made a very clear prediction of his death.

The people of Israel, having murmured against God, were punished by the terrible scourge of burning snakes, which caused the death of many of the guilty parties. Then the repentant people, confessing their sin, came to Moses, begging him to intercede for them. In answer to his prayer, the servant of God was commanded to raise up a bronze serpent on a pole, and all those who, believing God’s promise, contemplated this image of the evil from which they were suffering were healed.

In the same way, Jesus added, the Son of Man had to be lifted up; lifted up on the cross first, which would become for him the way to glory. The meaning of the word to be lifted up was confirmed by other statements of Jesus, and also by the fact that in the Aramaic language he spoke, the corresponding term, which he used, meant: to be lifted up on a pole, to be hung or crucified.

It was necessary, Jesus said: a glorious necessity, based on the eternal mercy of God, on his advice already announced by the prophecies, which were fulfilled. The purpose of this work of Jesus’ love was similar to that which was reached in the desert for the dying Israelites: that whoever does not perish in his sin, as the guilty perished in the desert, may have eternal life.

This last word is found here for the first time in the Gospel. It was repeated many times in the following. The gift of eternal life implies forgiveness, reconciliation with God, but the participation of the saved soul in the life of God himself, imperishable and blessed life.

God loved so much: this love is the principle and the supreme source of salvation. He has loved the world, this fallen, sinful world, in revolt against him; he has loved our entire humanity for which he intended this manifestation of his love. He not only sent, but abandoned, what he held dearest, his only Son : « He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how can he not also give us all things with him?  « (Rom 8, 32).

He requires of every man, in order that he may not perish in his sin and misery, only that he put all the trust of his Heart in him. Finally, he opened to the eyes of this believer the immense and blessed prospects of eternal life. The word of the only Son is proper to John, but why would Jesus not have used it, he who so often calls himself the Son ?

Jesus confirmed that the purpose of his coming into the world was to manifest God’s eternal love and not to judge the world. The purpose of this love is so universal that the whole world could be saved by Jesus Christ. This universality of salvation is expressed in the most solemn way by the triple repetition of the word world.

But Jesus, in proclaiming the merciful purpose of his coming, was far from denying the Final Judgement, which is reserved for him at the end of time, and which he announced in the most solemn manner: « Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out of them.

Those who have done good will rise for life, but those who have done evil will rise for judgment. « (Jn 5:28-29) While on earth, while proclaiming the mercy of God, Jesus, through the power of truth, exercised another present, inner judgment from which no man can escape. « Then Jesus said, ‘I have come into this world for judgment, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.  » (Jn 9:39)

Jesus, who has just revealed redemptive love to the whole world, now reveals to Nicodemus the nature of true judgement. And this revelation too is a complete transformation of the received opinion. It will not be between Jews and Gentiles, it will be between believers and unbelievers, whatever their nationality, that the dividing line will be crossed. (Bucket)

Since the Son of God did not come to judge but to save, he who believes in him, who has embraced divine grace in him, who has given himself to him, is not judged. Judgment must indeed have been exercised in his conscience, by the truth, and brought him to repentance, but now he is freed from it and breathes in the atmosphere of divine grace and love, he has the testimony of it within him : « He that believeth in the Son of God hath this testimony in himself; he that believeth not God maketh him a liar, because he believeth not the testimony which God hath given to his Son. « (1 Jn 5, 10)

Jesus confirmed that the purpose of his coming into the world was to manifest God’s eternal love and not to judge the world. The purpose of this love is so universal that the whole world could be saved by Jesus Christ. This universality of salvation is expressed in the most solemn way by the triple repetition of the word world.

But Jesus, in proclaiming the merciful purpose of his coming, was far from denying the Final Judgement, which is reserved for him at the end of time, and which he announced in the most solemn manner : « Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out of them. »

Those who have done good will rise for life, but those who have done evil will rise for judgment. « (Jn 5:28-29) While on earth, while proclaiming the mercy of God, Jesus, through the power of truth, exercised another present, inner judgment from which no man can escape. « Then Jesus said, ‘I have come into this world for judgment, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind. « (Jn 9, 39)

Jesus, who has just revealed redemptive love to the whole world, now reveals to Nicodemus the nature of true judgement. And this revelation too is a complete transformation of the received opinion. It will not be between Jews and Gentiles, it will be between believers and unbelievers, whatever their nationality, that the dividing line will be crossed. (Godet)

Since the Son of God did not come to judge but to save, he who believes in him, who has embraced divine grace in him, who has given himself to him, is not judged. Judgment must indeed have been exercised in his conscience, by the truth, and brought him to repentance, but now he is freed from it and breathes in the atmosphere of divine grace and love, he has the testimony of it within him: « He that believeth in the Son of God hath this testimony in himself; he that believeth not God maketh him a liar, because he believeth not the testimony which God hath given to his Son. « (1 Jn 5, 10)

Jesus confirmed this saying by declaring that the believer is freed even from the final judgment : « Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth in him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but is passed from death unto life. (Jn 5, 24), where he will only appear to see his state of mind brought to light.

Jesus affirmed : « He who does not believe, who persists in his unbelief, is already judged », by the mere fact that the only Son of God presented himself to him, full of grace and truth, and that he rejected him by closing his heart to him. He remains in his sin, to which he has added the gravest sin, contempt for God’s mercy.

He who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in himself; he who does not believe God makes him a liar, because he does not believe the testimony that God gave to his Son. Jesus penetrated even deeper into the soul and discovered the nature and cause of judgement. It is because light has appeared in the world through the coming of Jesus, and in his presence, a decision, a crisis, a judgement takes place in every soul: either it loves light and gives itself to the One who makes it shine, or it prefers error, lies and evil, and takes refuge in it in order to give itself up to its works which were evil and which remain so.

By rejecting Jesus man judges himself. The most rigorous investigation into his entire life would not find him any better disposed. Whoever does evil works or does evil not only dislikes the light, but hates it, because it reveals, accuses and condemns the intimate dispositions of his heart, and he is careful not to come to the light, that is, to come close to Jesus; for he knows that his works would be taken up again, convinced of guilt, as in a court of law.

It is quite different for those who practise truth, moral truth, which in John’s writings is often almost synonymous with holiness, and which is quite the opposite of evil works, or evil. To do the truth means to make a persevering effort to raise one’s conduct to the height of one’s moral knowledge, to realise the ideal of goodness as perceived by one’s conscience. (Gdet)

He who acts in this way comes to the light, approaches Jesus with confidence, not fearing, but desiring, that his works may be made manifest. It is that he has in him the testimony that his works, his life, the dispositions of his heart are made in God, in communion with him, in conformity with his spirit and his will.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Write a comment under the paper

 

Links to other Christian websites

◊  Ignatius Pew Missal : click here ti read the paper →  Fourth Sunday of Lent (“Lætare” Sunday) (Year B)

◊ By Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp.  : click here ti read the paper → Homily For The 4th (Laetare) Sunday Of Lent, Year B .

   Homily by Fr. Peter Rocca, C.S.C.,

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Vous pouvez utiliser ces balises et attributs HTML : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Salem alikoum |
Eazy Islam |
Josue |
Unblog.fr | Annuaire | Signaler un abus | AEP Gresivaudan 4ieme 2007-08
| Une Paroisse virtuelle en F...
| VIENS ECOUTE ET VOIS