In our recent spring newsletter, the Prior Provincial, Fr Kevin Alban has suggested how we might understand the gospel for each of the five Sundays of Lent, and how we might pray them. Each Friday, we'll add these reflections to our blog so you can read them and prepare for the Gospel before Sunday:
Fourth Sunday of Lent 11 March – Why the Father sends Jesus (John 3: 14-21)
The international symbol of doctors and medical workers is a snake (or sometimes two) wrapped around a stick or rod. The healing properties implied in this image are the same as those referred to in the gospel, with the reference to Moses who used a bronze snake to heal those bitten by real snakes.
In the context of John’s gospel, this picture is a reference to Jesus on the Cross. The evangelist emphasises that there is a reason for Jesus’ fate. In some of the most famous words of the New Testament, “God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son…and that all should have life.” From the suffering and death of Jesus will come a new life in all its fullness. When we look at the Cross, can we see life?
I hope that Lent proves to be a fruitful time for you. One way of deepening our appreciation of this season might be to read the Sunday gospel during the preceding week so that when we hear it again at Mass we are really familiar with it.