God so loved the world

4th Sunday of Lent 2015

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Gospel Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year B –  March 15th 2015

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘The Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe
in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer
darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth
comes out into the light, .
so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.

John 3:14-21


Fr Fergus O’Donoghue SJ wearing rose coloured vestments

Why rose vestments today? It is the hope of Easter just around the corner. We are on the way, but not there yet. So we wear the colours of joy. Of the love which has brought us here and made us the work of art we are. The 2nd reading (Ephesians 2:4-10) is always true – we are always God’s work of art – he sees from the inside out. Even or maybe especially the weak body and the disability is a work of art – love is the product and love is the artist.

Who do we belong to? In the end, it’s God. Children, brothers and sisters of Jesus – belonging. This is the life of faith, the life of faith in the heart.

We can often think of God and faith as deadening. Our faith is that he sent his son from love. Jesus is the one who went through all we go through and rose from death. As our faith in this becomes strong, then we find love active from God in our lives. At times when there is little else there. We unite ourselves with the sufferings of Jesus and rise with him. God, being love, promises not an easy life nor magical solutions, but love always.

We live on amazing grace, and the graced light is Christ. Easter is around the corner. If you take a corner too quickly you crash…life is often a call in patience to find oneself and to be found by God. How big is your God – how loving is your God. Look at the crucifix here and say – this much!

Love brings us here and continually makes a work of art of us. We are God’s work of art.

Thanks be to God!

Donal Neary SJ