for Sunday, March 18, 2012
It is not easy to rejoice always in the Lord. This Sunday liturgy calls us
to rejoice and sometimes our hearts just cannot be there. The Second Book
of Chronicles tells of the infidelity of our ancestors in the faith. They
just could not remain faithful to God and became worse and worse. Today,
at times, our world seems headed in the same direction. We need only think
of the countless innocent people still being killed in terrorist attacks
around the world. How can this go on in our world?
God allows evil but God does not do evil. Sometimes our hearts resist God
because an evil has touched too close to us. In the account from the
Second Book of Chronicles, God allows His people to return to their
homeland. This is not because all of His people had become good, but only
because God is merciful. He does not hold our sins against us.
The Gospel from Saint John reflects this also: look to the Lord for mercy
and you will be healed. John is so very clear: God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved
through Him. Every time that we meet up with an image of God that makes
God appear as someone waiting to destroy us or condemn us, we should think
of this passage. God loves us even more than we love ourselves.
The Letter to the Ephesians tells us today that even when we were dead in
our transgressions, God raised us up to live with Him. So often we
Christians don't really believe that God can love us as much as that, and
so we come up with limited images of God's love for us. Think of the
parable of the Prodigal Son. The Father runs to meet his son even before
the son has had a chance to apologize. There is no sense here that God
will treat His people with anything except love.
Far too often it is we who do not love ourselves because we don't trust
God. Can we really let God love us in this time of Lent. Will we come to
trust Him that He loves us more than we could ever imagine? Then we can
rejoice in the Lord!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36.14-17a, 19-23++
Second Reading: Ephesians 2.4-10
Gospel: John 3.14-21
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: