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God So Loved The World

God So Loved the World.Let that sink in for a moment. For God so loved the world. The fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word meaning “Rejoice.” We began Lent on Ash Wednesday with a cross of ashes on our head, marked as sinner, reminded that we will return to dust and we are told to repent. On this Laetare Sunday we are called to rejoice. It is like the final rest stop before driving into the final stretch. A chance to stop and reflect and tank up before Holy Week, but the reason we celebrate is much more important than a simple refueling. It’s something we should be celebrating every waking moment of our lives: God loves us. We rejoice in the fact that God made this wonderful world for us, he created everything that lives and breathes, and he didn’t stop there.

The Gospel of John

In the Gospel reading from John we read that famous verse, one that has been tattooed on hearts, bodies, minds and souls throughout the ages: John 3:16. “For 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.” God sent what was most precious to him: His only Son. For the world. Jesus’ beautiful discourse of light and truth in his meeting with Nicodemus is wonderful news and reason enough for us to rejoice. Somehow, it is not enough to simply rejoice. He gives us instructions. We must be living examples of the light and truth.

REJOICE!

Our Lenten journey should be a time to reflect on our choices and the decisions we make. “For God so loved the World.” Do WE? Do WE love the World? Does what we do reflect how much we love the world? What do our choices say? Are we a reflection of God’s love? As we journey toward Holy Week, let the light of the world, which lives in us, be a beacon of hope and healing for others. Laetare, Laetare.