4th SUNDAY OF LENT – JOHN 3:16
Do you remember years ago a baseball fan wearing a clown outfit who would frequently get into the view of the TV camera and hold up a sign – John 3:16? Well, today in the Gospel we have that oft- quoted line: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life.” God indeed loves everything and everyone he created – the whole world and every person! Do we allow ourselves to really feel the love of God for us? He loves us more than anybody else – more that our parents did, more than our spouses do, more than our friends, and even more than our best friend. That’s a lot of love for you and me!
If God were walking in your midst now, he would want to give you a hug and kiss. The Lord would be planning to give you a gift with a fancy greeting card – a bouquet of flowers or a special dinner, which he actually with the Eucharist. God loves each of so much that he would want to communicate with us all day long. Ultimately the gospel tells us that God was willing to give his only Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins and give us grace and eternal life. Let’s really celebrate that incredible love and sacrifice as we look forward to the Sacred Triduum and Easter!
FRIDAY THIS WEEK – MARCH 19TH – SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Marking the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being declared patron of the universal Church, Pope Francis proclaimed a yearlong celebration dedicated to the foster father of Jesus and spouse of Mary. The Pope said that Christians can discover in St. Joseph, who often goes unnoticed, an intercessor and guide in times of trouble. This quiet but no doubt strong and deeply spiritual man was always there for his young spouse and her surprising child, Jesus. He would have comforted and loved Mary by providing a home and support; he would have taught Jesus how to be a faithful man and a competent carpenter.
Mindful of Joseph’s critical role in salvation history, we can remember and call upon him at the Friday 8am Mass in his honor. We all need to reflect on this great saint being a role model of humility, faith, and perseverance. We will continue this year to reflect on how to accept God’s will and grace into our lives, like St. Joseph did so well. St. Joseph, pray for us!
ONE YEAR AND STILL COUNTING – THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC GOES ON – A PRAYER OF SOLIDARITY:
For all who have contracted the corona virus, we pray for care and healing.
For those who are still particularly vulnerable, we pray for safety and protection.
For those who still experience fear and anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance, we pray that they will not face financial burdens alone.
For our sisters and brothers around the world, we pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decision makers, we pray for wisdom and guidance.
God our Father, grant peace, comfort, and healing for all.
Be with us, Lord! Amen!