- Fr. Tarcisio
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT. Reflection of the Word of God.
First Reading (2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23): Even when God punishes his people with exile, God remains faithful to his covenant. He even uses pagans to return his people to the Promised Land.
Second Reading (Eph 2:4-10): By his grace, God has saved his people from exile. Again by the grace of God, his Son Jesus saves us from the death of sin. In God's plan everything is a free gift of grace.
Gospel (Jn 3:14-21): Christ had to die on the cross to save us and give us eternal life, since Christ came not to condemn us but to save us.
Today's Gospel is part of the dialogue that Jesus had with Nicodemus, an important teacher of Jewish law. He went to look for him at night, wanting to clarify his doubts and personally meet the Rabbi of Nazareth, of whom everyone was talking. Nicodemus goes to look for him in the middle of the night, probably to avoid the suspicion of his fellow Scribes and Pharisees. But the night describes precisely the situation in which he found himself with respect to the knowledge of God, because even though he was a teacher of the law, he was in darkness.
Nicodemus represents in the story everyone who sincerely seeks to meet Jesus, who wants to come out of the darkness to come closer to the light. That is why Jesus ends his speech with a general invitation not to live in darkness, but to seek and accept the light. However, the image of Jesus crucified is not exactly an approach to light, rather we see it as a sign of death, pain, sadness and darkness ... But it is precisely like that, through this painful experience of the death of Jesus on a cross, like God, our Father, wanted to show us the degree to which he loves us.
Let us, then, put this phrase in our minds and in our hearts: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). Will we accept that great gift that he has given us?