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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Lent - For God So Loved the World

Fourth Sunday of Lent
For God So Loved the World
The fourth Sunday of Lent is like the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) one of the two “joyful” Sundays the Catholic Church celebrates. It is called Laetare Sunday (Latin for “rejoice”).

In our readings and Gospel this fourth Sunday of Lent we have reason to rejoice as we are reminded over and over again of God’s mercy and love for his people, even when they took him for granted, ignored his warning, and continued to seep themselves in sin. Rejoice for despite our sins God sent Christ to be our savior and our guide.

 “In those days…the people added infidelity to infidelity.”   Yet God’s response, “early and often” was to have “compassion on his people…..But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets.” (2 Chronicles 36:14-16)
“God , who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ….For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:4-8)

“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.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”  (John 3:16-17)

God never gives up on us, even when we give up on him, shut him out, refuse to listen, or as Sinatra said “Did it my way.”  He loves us so much that he gave us the best he had to offer, his only begotten Son, Jesus.

This love God has for us is not exclusive, it is open and offered freely to all.  We are created in his image and likeness, yet individual, and unrepeatable.  And as any loving Father, God can not rest until all of his wandering children have returned home to him.

Saint Augustine who wrote so beautifully about God’s love said, “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.”  Yet though God desires us to turn to him, he does not “twist our arm,” he simply gives us the freedom to choose whom and what we love.  Who or what we put first in our life; worship, or want to impress.  The doorknob so to speak is on the inside of our heart, not the outside.  We must choose to open the door to him.  He will knock, but we must answer. 

For devotional items for your Lenten Journey
Please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures_
Crucifixion of Jesus - Marco Pulmezzano
Crucifixion - Hans Memling
Jesus Knocks

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