First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36: 14-16, 19-23
Psalm: 137: 1-2,3,4-5, 6
Second Reading: Ephesians 2: 4-10
Gospel: John 3: 14-21
There are paradoxes in today’s readings.
The first reading speaks about the consequences of sin.
Departure from God and God’s ways brings disaster on the Jewish people.
They were surrounded by a sea of paganism and were often seduced into pagan practices. God sent many messengers , prophets, and others to call them back and they did not listen.
They turned their back on a way of life built on wisdom and love. They ended up in exile for many years in Babylon.
However, God did not give up on them and they came back from exile .
The consequences of sin lead to selfishness , imbalance, lack of virtue, and a betrayal of self.
God desires us to be fully alive, and God’s and commandments are about love.
In the Gospel, and in the second reading, we are reminded that Jesus brings life.
The horrible destructive cross which took away Jesus’s life gives us life.
On the cross God is saying you are worth dying for!
Regardless of our mistakes and betrayals there is always hope.
When we understand how much God loves us, then we can dare to be honest with ourselves and with others, and admit our sins, our mistakes.
We can also change!
The truth sets us free.
We are condemning ourselves when we shut God out, when we shut Jesus out.
It is God’s grace that saved us.
Our addictions, our weakness, need the grace of God so that we can walk and live in true freedom.
Lent calls us to conversion, to new hope, to being ‘born again’.
Jesus, and the way of life that he gives us, enable us to be fully alive, to be who we are meant to be.
What do I need to change, to let go of, so that I can be free?
God is always waiting, always ready to embrace more than any parent or human lover.