4th Sunday of Lent - Sunday, March 14, 2021

Father Jim Donohue's picture

Father Jim Donohue

March 14, 2021

St. Paul reminds us of the generous and gracious nature of God’s love for us. Jesus, in John’s Gospel, clearly states the great love that God has for us when he says, “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.” There is nothing that we can possibly do to earn, merit, or deserve this love. It is a free gift. As a free gift, it is given with no strings attached. God will never force or coerce us into this relationship. Indeed, God wants a companion who willingly and freely enters into this relationship. If we can only but catch a glimpse of this love that God has for us, we will be drawn and moved by that love with our whole hearts. We will be like the person who finds a treasure in a field or a pearl of great price, and who is willing to sell everything without wasting a minute. When we fall in love, it is not hard to sell everything, for we see this as making the deal of a lifetime.

God’s plan for us emerges out of God’s love for us. God’s plan for us is to be united with God. 2 Peter reminds us that we are meant “to share in the divine nature” (1:4). One early Church Father after another would say, “God became human so that you might learn from a human being how a human being may become divine.” We are reminded of our destiny to share in God’s life through an action we witness in the Eucharist every time it is celebrated: the priest pours a little water into the wine and says, “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” God became human so that we could become divine. Indeed, in the resurrection of Jesus we see the anticipation of our final destiny, for the one who entered into creation and history is now raised bodily, taking the very “stuff of creation” into God’s inner life. And all of this…all of God’s plan for us…is pure gift given to us out of God’s love for us: for God so loved the world that God gave us God’s only Son so that we might have eternal life.