Friday, March 20, 2009

4th Sunday of Lent Year B 2009

Ours is a God who just won’t who just can’t give up on us.
He can’t give up because love never gives up.

In the first reading the Book Chronicles recounts an incredibly sad story.

Because they abandoned the rightful practice of their faith… because they were unfaithful to the covenant…
because they refused to listen to the numerous prophets the God sent them and kept sending them over and over again to call them back to fidelity….

…in desperation God allowed them to be defeated by the Persians.

He allowed His temple to be destroyed and His people to be taken into exile.

It must have seemed like the end of the world them
as the temple was torn down and Jerusalem set afire.

It must have seemed like all was lost as they were led away in exile.

And I am sure that God wept with them as they walked down the road to Persia victims of their own lack of faith.

He wept because he loved them.
He wept because they had abandoned their friendship with Him.
He wept because they had become so stuck in their sin that there was no other way to win back their hearts.

Only after 70 years of exile and slavery would they be allowed to return to Jerusalem and re-establish the covenant.

In the Gospel we hear a similar story.

Nicodemus  a holy man comes to Jesus in the dark of night.
He came in the night because he is afraid to be seen. 

He was afraid to be seen as a follower of Jesus or
as someone who believed in His word or His works..

Yet he was drawn to Jesus and it was
almost impossible for him to stay away.

As and Jesus tried to explain to him how God longs for all men and women to be saved Nicodemus’ heart must have been moved.

But when Jesus said that the Messiah would have to be lifted up on the cross of the Romans this was too much for Nicodemus to take.

This was so contrary to the type of Messiah the Jews expected that Nicodemus refused to believe refused to surrender.

And he walked back out into the darkness, confused and unwilling to become His follower.

Yet one day it would be this same Nicodemus who would boldly walk up to Pilate in full light of day and request  the body of Jesus.

The Jews were unfaithful
They suffered the consequences of their sins
And they were redeemed

Was intrigued by the powerful witness of Jesus
But he was afraid.
Afraid of what discipleship would cost him

And so he walked back out into the darkness of confusion and cowardness o
nly later would he be able to experience the saving power of Christ lifted high on the cross.




It is the story of the people of Israel.
It is the story of Nicodemus.
It is my story and your story.
It is the story of all of Humanity.

Until we embrace the will of God completely and whole heartedly… until we accept the love and mercy of God completely.
We are condemned, better yet we condemn ourselves to repeat this pattern over and over and over again.

Think about
How much of our suffering …
How much of our pain…
How much of our hurt our confusion…
How much of our unhealthy relationships, our addictions, our lack of peace..

has its roots in our sins
In our pride
And in our selfishness

Only Jesus Christ
Can reach in to the confusion of our lives…
Only Jesus Christ can reach into the darkness of our doubts our fears…
Only Jesus Christ can save us from our self imposed exile.

For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that all who believe in him might not perish but have eternal life.

Ours is a God who just won’t
who just can’t give up on us.
He can’t give up because love never gives up.


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