It is 11th March 2018. We celebrate The Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday. Today, we pass the mid-term of the season of Lent. As we enter into the fourth Sunday of Lent, the Church invites us to rejoice. Hence, this Sunday is traditionally called Laetarae Sunday, the Sunday of rejoicing. During the last three weeks of Lent, we were reflecting intensely on penance, prayer, almsgiving and sacrifices. Even though the legitimate pleasures of life are sacrificed, we begin to deprive ourselves something we liked most for the sake of those who have nothing at all and for our personal sins. The moment of grace and mercy is the central theme of the week offering us to reflect and to root ourselves in the forgiveness and mercy of God. God’s love for us is assured through so many people in our lives. The readings are from Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23; the second reading is from Ephesians 2:4-10; and the Gospel is from John 3:14-21. In the First reading, we reflect about abounding mercy and compassion of God shown through the instrumentality of the king Cyrus of Persia to help building the temple ruined by the sins and selfishness of the people. God sends the help from Heaven when we are broken and lost thinking there is no help possible from anywhere. In the second reading St. Paul reminds that God brings God’s people back to Him just because of the richness of God’s own mercy revealed through His Only Begotten Son Jesus. We are saved by His grace and mercy and there is no one to take credibility for our salvation except God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph.2:9). The Psalm is the hymn of those in exile interceding: “Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!” (Ps.137:6). The Gospel assures our salvation through Jesus Christ. Our faith and good works must prove that we believe in Jesus and our light shines in the darkness around. Nicodemus who visited Jesus in the night was enlightened by the ever-shining light Jesus. To embrace light, we must come out of the deeds and shades of darkness. “For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (Jn.3:20,21). Jesus is the light of our lives. We can set the world on fire only when we have the love of Jesus in our heart. May we believe in His mercy and love and share and show the same in our deeds. May you have a good day. God bless you

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