Minute Homily – God is Passionate About You!
4th Sunday of Lent (B)
The fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday which means “rejoice,” from the entrance chant from Isaiah 66:10 which begins “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her.”
We may wonder what we are supposed to rejoice about when the first reading tells of the Jewish people being sent into exile. That sounds more like misery than joy. But the gospel this Sunday reminds us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
OK. But how is this supposed to make us feel better about our own suffering. Well what it tells us is that God is passionate about us. There is a reason why we use the word “passion” to describe both love and suffering. It’s because the two go hand in hand. Loving someone means being willing to suffer for them. And God, who by all rights should never have to suffer, loves us so much that he chooses to suffer for us. He’s passionate about us!
God doesn’t love us by waving a magic wand to take away all our suffering like a parent might spoil their child. He loves us enough to suffer with us, and by doing so he transforms our suffering into something redemptive because by sharing in Christ’s passion, we also share in his love.