4th Sunday of Lent 2021- Laetare Sunday

Written on: March 10, 2021

Readings for Laetare Sunday

1st Reading 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23

Psalm 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

2nd Reading Ephesians 2:4-10

Gospel John 3:14-21

Submitted by: Sister Jean Liston, GNSH

Today, March 14, 2021, is Laetare Sunday, a time to exult, despite the sin and brokenness in each of us and in our world. “Rejoice,” for God does not desire us to wallow in hopelessness.

In John’s Gospel, verse 3:16, we read, “God so loved the world,” although in subsequent passages, there is judgement and even condemnation. Above all, though, there is God’s immense love and faithfulness. We learn that God created and loves us and the world in all its beauty, splendor, and diversity. Through God’s love, the Son was sent to lead all to truth, light, and goodness while at the same time shielding creation from darkness and sin. All are God’s handiwork called and empowered to enhance the beauty and majesty of the world.

In this Gospel, John 3:14-21, God gives us a concrete example of an individual who was searching for light and truth. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, comes to meet “the teacher,” Jesus, in the darkness for fear of being seen by the people. He risked his very life and reputation to encounter Jesus who then told Nicodemus “the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

We encounter Nicodemus again at the end of the Gospel as he assisted with Jesus’ burial. Now having seen Jesus “lifted up,” Nicodemus walked into the light and saw the possibility and promise of new life.

What are the challenges this Gospel presents to each of us today?

    1. Can we see the mystery of God in all creation? What are we called to do to protect our fragile world?
    2. How do we see ourselves as God’s handiwork? Does this concept strengthen us to love and appreciate ourselves and others?
    3. Do we have the courage of Nicodemus to seek good not evil, light not darkness, and truth not falsehood?
    4. How are we reflecting on our own Lenten sacrifice as we journey with the whole world to the cross?

“Rejoice.” See in Jesus the possibility and promise of new life!  “Rejoice, exult!”

4th Sunday of Lent (click to print)

Featured image courtesy of the author, Sr. Jean Liston, GNSH

5 thoughts on “4th Sunday of Lent 2021- Laetare Sunday

  1. Joan McElwain says:

    Thank you Jean for the good reflection and questions

  2. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you Sister Jean. I will try and think about the questions you have raised. They are difficult.

  3. Arlene (Hahn) Kisker says:

    As I walked around my small yard the other day which was record warmth and viewed the narcisses popping up, I thought, how beautiful this world is and how fortunate we are to be a part of His great creation. Thank you Sister, Arlene (Hahn) Kisker

  4. Rita Margraff says:

    Thank you, Jean. Good questions to ponder.

  5. Kathleen Devlin says:

    Item # 3 is my favorite! That’s how I chose to live life in today’s world.

    Thank you Sister Jean Liston, GNSH

    Kathleen Devlin

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