Part 1 of 2
Daily Office Readings for Sunday of the 4th Week of Lent: Year 1
Morning Psalms 66 and 67; Evening Psalms 19 and 46;
Jeremiah 14:1 to 9 and 17 to 22; Galatians 4:21 to 5:1; Mark 8:11 to 21:
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Paul compares the two mothers; Hagar, mother of slaves, and, Sarah, mother of free people. The slavery that Paul speaks of is more than just slavery of an ancient Arabia. It is slavery to whatever we substitute for God. This could be money, power, modern devices, owning art, or even Church status. God’s plan, since before Abraham, is for us to be free. We are born of a free mother. Nothing can enslave us if we stand firm in our faith of freedom.
Part 2 of 2
Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of the 4th Week in Lent: Year B
Numbers 21:4 to 9; Psalm 107:1 to 3 and 17 to 22; Ephesians 2:1 to 10; John 3:14 to 21
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)
We have heard John 3:16 forever. I think John 3:17 better explains the mission of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus comes to us as Holy Hope! We have a chance. It is good to know that God loves us in spite of ourselves.
We too often keep loving ourselves more than we love God. We want power, and glory, and wealth. We want these things so that we look better than those looking at us, other people. We need to start caring more about how God sees us. If we put how God sees us ahead of how other people see us we will be seen in a better light by both God and others. There is a reason our two great commandments are to first love God, and then, only then, love your neighbor as yourself.
There is a final kingdom, this is not it. There is an eternal kingdom, this is not it. However, we are invited to come to that eternal kingdom through our Lord and Savior Jesus who is here from the Almighty and eternal God and who can save us from ourselves. This world is temporal, but not condemned. This world is the stepping stone to that heavenly world where for all who take this step of loving the Creator may reside. Let us live to love more than we love to live.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John