“God loved the world so much…”

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

 

First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16.19-23

Psalm: 136:1-6

Second reading: Ephesians 2:4-10

Gospel: John 3:14-21

 

Today’s Gospel reading is taken from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a pharisee, leader of the Jews: he comes to Jesus by night, to speak with him.
It is interesting to see how Jesus answers to his questions. Jesus does not speak in parables (the way He used to address the crowds). He speaks clearly, revealing the mystery of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.
And this conversation takes place in the night. Night is a deeply meaningful time.

 

Night: language of lovers. Heart speaks to heart

Night is the time in which lovers speak to each other. It is the time for intimacy and private conversations. And God speaks there, in the night, to our heart. Heart to heart. There He reveals the mystery of his love for us. “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son…” (v.16)

 

Night: silence and stillness. A taste of eternity

Night is also a time when all is still and calm: it seems like time does not flow, does not pass. We are taken to another dimension; we have a taste of eternity. And in it the Lord reveals the mystery of eternal life.
“…So that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life” (v.16)

 

Night: longing for the dawn

 This is the night every believer has to live, relying on faith, waiting for the dawn.
Even though there is darkness, Jesus speaks about light: like the night of Transfiguration, this night shines with His glory, a glory still concealed that will be fully revealed in the resurrection.
Like Nicodemus, we are called to pass from darkness to light.

 

The Gospels show this man’s own journey in faith: from the fear of being seen speaking to Jesus, to the courage to go to Pilate (with Joseph of Arimathea) and ask for the permission to remove Jesus’ body from the cross and bury it (Jn 19:38-40). So, he finally showed himself a disciple, at the cost of risking his life.

 

Night. Time to speak about love, in which God reveals his love;
time of silence and stillness, in which we have a taste of Eternity;
night that has to be lived fully in order to see the new dawn of Resurrection.

May we be always ready to listen to Him, both when night is sweet and when it is bitter, knowing that He loves us so much that He gave all of himself for us.

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