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MARCH 14. LENT. WK 4. SUN. JN.3. 14-21

Updated: Aug 29

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.’


There is significant food for thought here given that, prior to Christ becoming man everybody was rightfully “condemned” to eternal punishment because of sin; - with no hope of attaining God’s original plan; - of our living in union with him for eternity.


Even though we were sinners, and enemies of God, He did not abandon us, but continued to love us; - to the extent that he gave us his only Son to atone for our sins; - via his Passion and Death on Calvary.


‘The Son of Man must be lifted up (on a Cross) as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert’


There are truths here that defy logic, namely that God would send his only Son to die on a Cross in order to save; - not his friends; - but rather his enemies; - and the reason he did this was so these same enemies could enter into an intimate relationship with Him for Eternity.


And this reading reveals the mind of God and informs us as to why he did this, namely; - God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so everyone who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.”


So, what we are faced with here is an act of Divine Love and Mercy towards sinners; - a gift we clearly do not deserve, and which carries the gravest of duties and responsibilities.


Christ now points this out to us; - Whoever refuses to believe is condemned already as he has refused to believe in 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”. Christ is telling us here how critical it is that we believe him!


Gospel Acclamation John 3:16


Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

God loved the world so much, he gave us his only Son,

that all who believe in him might have eternal life.

Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!


First reading 2 Chronicles 36:14-16,19-23

God's wrath and mercy are revealed in the exile and release of his people


All the heads of the priesthood, and the people too, added infidelity to infidelity, copying all the shameful practices of the nations and defiling the Temple that the Lord had consecrated for himself in Jerusalem. The Lord, the God of their ancestors, tirelessly sent them messenger after messenger, since he wished to spare his people and his house. But they ridiculed the messengers of God, they despised his words, they laughed at his prophets, until at last the wrath of the Lord rose so high against his people that there was no further remedy.


Their enemies burned down the Temple of God, demolished the walls of Jerusalem, set fire to all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value in it. The survivors were deported by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; they were to serve him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. This is how the word of the Lord was fulfilled that he spoke through Jeremiah, ‘Until this land has enjoyed its sabbath rest, until seventy years have gone by, it will keep sabbath throughout the days of its desolation.’


And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up.”’







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