Fourth Week of Lent: Mar. 14-20, 2010

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight. - Isaiah 65
The Fourth Week of Lent|For the Fourth Sunday of Lent we read the powerful story of the Prodigal Son from Luke's Gospel. The younger son, who asks for his inheritance and spends it all, returns and asks to be a servant at his father's house. Instead he is welcomed home with open arms by his father who was filled with compassion, ran to his son and forgave him. The older son is jealous and will not share in the happiness but the father says to "celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." For Masses using Cycle A readings for the RCIA, John's Gospel will offer the story of the man born blind. (For more information, see Praying the Gospels of Weeks 3, 4 and 5.)|Friday we celebrate Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day with its own special readings.|Our gospels this week are all from John's Gospel. After two days of healing stories, the opposition against Jesus builds. In Cana, in Galilee, Jesus heals the son of a royal official. Back down in Jerusalem, he heals a man who was sick for 38 years, incurring the wrath of his enemies because he did it on the Sabbath. Unafraid of his opponents, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for a feast and openly tells people that he has come from God. They did not arrest him then, "for his hour had not yet come." Thinking they know where Jesus is from (in both senses: where he lived now and his origin in heaven), his enemies insist that prophets don't come from where Jesus is from.|On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Parishes that are doing the Third Scrutiny will use John's gospel of the raising of Lazarus.|For the rest of us using the Cycle C readings for this liturgical year, John's gospel brings us the story of the woman accused of adultery. Religious leaders bring a woman to Jesus challenging him: "Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" Jesus responded only, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." The crowd quietly dispersed. Jesus seeing there is no one left to accuse the woman says gently, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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