This Sunday brings us to the Fourth Sunday of Lent: the season of penance and preparation for Easter is half over.
Scriptures for this Sunday's liturgy can be found here: note that the readings for Year B may be replaced with the readings from Year A in parishes celebrating the Scrutinies in preparation for baptism at the Easter Vigil. Bringing children to Mass with you? Help them prepare to hear the word with the hints you'll find here.
My parish will be proclaiming the scriptures for Year B. The first lesson is from Chronicles and includes the story of Cyrus, the pagan king of Persia, who benevolently respected the culture and traditions of those he conquered, including Israel. Sometimes, it seems, God uses even pagans to teach believers a lesson.
St. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, praises the mercy of God which is ours even and especially when we are dead in our sins.
The day's gospel includes the verse you might see referenced on placards and banners at sports events or even on a player's face: John 3:16 which reminds us that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
But there's a very hard question posed in this text: do you and I prefer the light to the darkness, or the darkness to the light? How will we answer?
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