Reflection: Fourth Sunday of Lent

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – 2Ch.36:14-16,19-23; Ps.136; 2nd Reading – Eph.2:4-10; Gospel – Jn.3:14-21]

“…WHO BELIEVES…”

It seems that there is a relationship between “eternal life” and “not being lost”.  At the same time it seems that there is also a relationship between the “love of God who gave his only Son” and this “Son of Man who must be lifted up as the serpent in the desert”. The difference between these two is that while the second relationship is a divine one (between God the Father and the Son), the first relationship is of an eschatological one: it talks about the possibility of not being lost and having eternal life. These relationships have a common denominator: to believe! Something which no one can do for anyone else but only the person himself! In fact, in today’s Gospel the verb “to believe” is used five times.

Thus it follows that there is nothing else for the faithful to do except to “believe” because what they are to believe in has already been done and/or is being done by God: God had chosen a people to himself, but they preferred not to heed Him… He sent them messengers, but they ridiculed them, and laughed at his prophets… And when man was “dead” through his sins, God gave him life through his Son, the Christ… Paul says that it is by grace that we have been saved, through faith, not by anything of our own, but by a gift from God. And when man believes, God continues to shower His love on him because God Himself is love. So on one hand there is the intervention of God, which is always a relationship of love… and on the other hand the faith of the believer, the one that is receiving the effect of this love. The human being is the permanent recipient of this love of God, which can have an effect on him only if he believes. If he does not believe, it means that he prefers the darkness to the light, what is wrong to what is right… what is evil to what is good… It means, to refuse truth, to refuse the existence of God.

To believe therefore is to accept God in one’s life. It means that we accept his gift; a gift which is given freely but which is to be shared. Are we ready to accept this gift of God, through our belief?

Lord, You love me. You love me as I am. At the same time, Lord, your love gives me the strength to be a better recipient of it so as to be able to share it with others. Help me to cherish this love of yours and to be able to appreciate it whenever I see your image.  Lord, thank you for your immense love for me. Thank you Lord!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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