Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 15, 2015



Below, you'll find a reflection for today, the fourth Sunday of Lent, March 15, by Mary Schneiders, OP. The reflection is from Why Do You Weep? Lent 1994, published by Pax Christi USA. 


All our Lenten reflections and other resources can be found at this link, Lent 2015, on the website.  




By Mary Schneiders, OP


2 Chronicles 36: 14-16. 19-23 | Ephesians 2:4-10 | John 3:14-21


Today's reading from Ephesians focuses on the infinite mercy, compassion and forgiveness of God as revealed through Jesus, in contrast to the first reading from Chronicles which images a God bent on vengeful punishment of a sinful, unfaithful people. But even in that reading, the underlying intent is to express God's deep anguish over being rejected and abandoned by those whom God had chosen, cared for and nurtured. Would a woman have imaged God's response to rejection in this way-sending an army to destroy the unfaithful Beloved? Turning to violence is, for most women, the very last resort, and for many, not an option or consideration at all. How might God, as woman, have responded to the infidelity of the Jewish people? 


Paul, in Ephesians, reminds us that we are indeed precious to God, not because of anything we have done, but simply because of God's love for us which is both the source of and the reason for our very existence. We are, each of us, God's handiwork-a beautiful work of art. God loves us and delights in us. Because it is the very nature of love to be mutual and reciprocal, God desires from us a response to this love. But because of our sinfulness, we have often withheld, refused to respond to God's love. Yet Jesus tells us that God does not condemn or seek to destroy us because of our sinfulness, our failure in love. Rather God continues to reach out to us, sending Jesus-not to punish or condemn us, but to save us, to restore our covenant relationship with God. The tragedy is that we have the terrible power to refuse even God's love enfleshed in Jesus. Jesus continues to be enfleshed among us in our sisters and brothers-in the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the victims of violence, abuse and injustice. How do we respond to Jesus as we meet him daily in our sisters and brothers, especially in the "least of God's people"?...


In Christ's peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

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