Year B, Lectionary 32
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
"The first readings for Sundays 1 to 4 of Lent sketch for us the history of salvation, reminding us that, from humanity’s beginnings, we have needed, and received, rescue from sin. On the 5th Sunday we hear a prophecy of what that history of salvation pointed forward to: Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection, and his Gift of the Spirit. That was the New Covenant, God’s ultimate pledge of loyalty; it was God’s great saving deed, which..."
Fr. Richard Conrad. "Are We Like Those People?." Torch. March 7, 2018
Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
"In this Gospel we have Jesus talking in an unusual way to an unusual man. When we hear Jesus speaking, usually to crowds, it is loud and clear, even if he speaks always in parables. These are puzzles, simple stories, that we won't forget, but we have to grow to understand. John must have remembered this conversation with such an important person. The other occasion John remembered was the Last Supper discourse."
Fr. Duncan Campbell. "A Disciple." Torch. March 18, 2012
"One of the most important words in St John's Gospel is 'glory'; right at the beginning we read that 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of a father's only son…' Jesus Christ is the revelation of the glory of the Father. And that glory is beheld especially when Christ is 'lifted up' on the cross. The kind of exaltation - of lifting up, of glorification..."
Fr. Richard Ounsworth. "We Beheld His Glory." Torch. March 22, 2009
"As so often the Scripture reading regrettably gives us the text -- what the lectionary thinks is Christ's 'teaching' -- without giving us its context. In this case the context is what seems to be, at least partially, a real conversation, a real encounter, between Jesus and Nicodemus, who came to him secretly -- 'after dark [or is it 'in darkness'?], for fear of the Jews.' If we are to take Scripture seriously it is..."
Fr. Giles Hibbert. "Lifting up our Eyes." Torch. March 26, 2006
"Within each of us there is a longing which draws us beyond ourselves. We reach out to something that calls on us. There is a sense of belonging to something that is greater, something or someone which gives our lives meaning. In our feeble attempts to identify what it is we crave to belong to we call it God, Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh. We believe that this Divine being created us for a purpose and in..."
Fr. Brendan Slevin. "What God is as great as our God?." Torch. March 30, 2003
"The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Lætare (Rejoice) Sunday, from the first words of today’s liturgy. As on Gaudete Sunday in Advent, rose-colored vestments may replace violet, and flowers may grace the altar, symbolizing the Church’s joy in anticipation of the Resurrection of Our Lord. The central theme of today’s readings is that our salvation is the free gift of a merciful God, given to us sinners through Jesus, His Son. The readings stress..."
Father Lawrence Obilor. "Rejoice in His Merciful Love." A Catholic Moment. March 14, 2021
"Welcome to Laetare Sunday! This Sunday marks the halfway point of Lent, but actually we are more than halfway through—there is just one more Sunday of Lent proper and then we enter into Holy Week. Doesn’t time fly? How are your Lenten practices going? Are you sticking to your chosen acts of penance and mortification? Maintaining your resolutions for prayer and meditation? Now is a good day to do an examination of conscience and renew..."
John Bergsma. "Laetare Sunday!." The Sacred Page. March 13, 2021
"The Gospel points back to the time of the Great Exodus, when the Israelites were instructed to seek salvation from the pestilence of fiery serpents by raising their eyes to a bronze serpent, fashioned by Moses. Investing hope in works of art is a perilous business, as the Israelites would have remembered well from the incident with a golden calf. It was, after all, Moses himself who discovered this outbreak of idolatry as he returned..."
Fr. Oliver Keenan. "Looking Through." Torch. March 9, 2021
"With the mitigated penance signified by the rose of the fourth Sunday of Lent we signal the conclusion of the first part of this season. In these four weeks our focus has been on penitence and conversion, on turning back to God who calls us to himself. Next Sunday the focus will shift. Next Sunday we will begin to turn our attention to Christ’s passion as our liturgy ascends closer to the summit of Easter...."
Fr. Benjamin Earl. "Lifetimes of Penitence." Torch. March 12, 2015