Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year B
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: Mar 11 2018
Someone speaking on parenting once said that there are 3 things a parents needs to teach their children. First, that life is hard. Second, that life is not fair. Third, that life is good.
That life is hard we all learn with time, sickness, suffering of various types, dark moments of life. That life is unfair we also learn with time, injustices, economic disparity, betrayals and so on. But, that life is good requires that we are able to see below the surface, beyond darkness, to see with eyes of faith.
Well known Gospel today, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” God so loved the world. For we as Catholics, our basic Faith is in the goodness of creation, the goodness of life. Our basic Faith sees Love at the centre of the universe. The love of God which is Grace.
That Grace that St. Paul expresses in our Second reading today. “God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us” even when dead in our sins. Paul speaks of the grace by which we are saved, a free gift of God. The immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For us, the world is full of Grace. The free gift of God, which is unconditional Love.
When there is someone who has fallen in love, the whole world seems enchanted. When we truly receive the gift of grace in Christ Jesus, when we allow ourselves to fall in love with God. The world is a place full of Grace. We are able to see below the surface, beyond darkness, beyond suffering and death. We are able to see deeper to the love of God at the heart of all Creation.
So, the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins can say, “The world is filled with the grandeur of God.”
Listened to a program on Boredom on the radio. Some researchers did study, putting people into a room all by themselves for 15 minutes. There was nothing in the room, no sound, nothing to do. They were asked to remain there in silence and still for 15 minutes. How difficult that was for most people. How long do you go in a day without checking your cell phone? We are so uncomfortable with silence and solitude. We need to find distractions.
But, when our eyes are open to the Grace of God, the whole world, all creation, each person becomes a path to God. Every ordinary thing and moment can become special. This is our Catholic sacramental vision. Everything is a path to Grace.
So, life is good. But, it requires us to see below the surface of things, to see beyond darkness. It requires some times of silence and solitude. It requires us to see all in the vision of that God who so loved the world. It requires us to be open to receive the Grace of God, the free gift of God which we do not earn, we do not deserve, but we simply receive joyfully.
Then we will not be bored, but the whole world and each person and each ordinary moment will be filled with the grandeur of God, full of grace.