Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B


This Sunday serves as a glimpse of the Easter joy that draws near. If in Advent we have the Gaudete Sunday, this season of Lent, we have the Laetare Sunday because of today’s mass entrance antiphon: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exalt and be satisfied at her consoling breast!” The color “Rose Pink” may be used in today’s liturgy to express the Church’s hope and joy towards the culmination of our Lenten fasts and penances in the glory of Easter.

In this Sunday’s readings, our hearts are reminded of a time in the past when God’s people got themselves into trouble but were ultimately saved when they turned from their sinful ways.

The readings today begin with a retelling of the tragedy of the people of Israel that led to their destruction and exile because of their disobedience and faithlessness, i.e., their sin that caused great suffering among them. This narrative somehow mirrors the present reality of our country today where injustice, corruption, decadence, moral decay, division, succumbing to the temptations of power, greed, lust, and selfishness are present. But amidst the tragedy of the Israelites, the message of hope still lives. After some time, God had mercy on them, liberated them from exile, and allowed them to return back to their homeland in Jerusalem.

The second reading speaks of this Mercy and Love of God that even though the people have strayed away from Him, He was still there for them. The same message goes for us. No matter how sinful we have become, how unworthy we are in the eyes of society, God is still always there reaching his helping hand. We only need to look up to Him just as how the Gospel retells: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” However, this indicates that we need to mend our ways and put our whole faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us on the cross, the very image of the Father’s love for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Our sins often discourage us from facing God. So we choose to remain in our desolate life of guilt. We are afraid to show up because of how unworthy we may have become. Yes, we are unworthy but our God is a merciful and forgiving God. He does not record our sins as what any man would do. He is just always waiting for us to come back to Him. We just need to heed the call to turn back to God, to embrace his mercy and forgiveness, and have the resolve to live in loving service to one another. Amen.

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Fray Joseph Neil E. Baygan

Fray Joseph Neil E. Baygan