• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Saturday, 10 March 2018 14:58

Fourth Sunday of Lent - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent
John 3, 14 – 21

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestThe image of the cross is one of the most popular and most powerful images that we see. Whenever we see the cross, for most of us, we feel some sort of solace and security that we’re assured that everything will be alright. For those who do not believe in its meaning, it is a gruesome image of a man hanging on piece of timber on the final moments of his life. However for us Christians who know its meaning, it is all about Jesus’ sacrifice and death so that we may all have life.

The gospel for this week is somehow related on the power of the image of Christ crucified. Jesus tried to project an image of what would happen to him in the future. When Moses was asked by the Lord to make an image of a bronze serpent hanging on a pole because the Lord sent serpents as punishment for the grumbling Israelites. As the Israelites were bitten by the serpents, Moses said that whoever cast their eyes on the bronze serpent on the pole would be healed. And it did happen that all the Israelites who set their eyes on the bronze serpent were healed.

Jesus is projecting this image when the day will come that when he is lifted up, everyone who believed in him would be saved. The way the Romans do crucifixions is that they would nail a criminal on a cross while the cross is lying on the ground. However once the criminal is already affixed on the cross, they would hoist the cross up so that everybody would see the criminal. They would do this to shame the criminal and at the same time to warn the people that they would suffer the same fate if they do the same crime. However for Jesus he turned the whole idea upside down, that instead of the cross being a sign of shame and terror, it became a sign of hope and consolation.

As Jesus had said in John 3, 16: “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son that whoever believed in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The question is this: God offered his Son so that we might not perish but might have eternal life so what is our response? Do we believe in him or do we reject him?

One of the more intriguing characters of the New Testament is a member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus. The Sanhedrin is what we would equate as the supreme court of Israel. So Nicodemus is a person of high standing in the community. However, despite all of these, he is a person who is impressed by the teachings of Jesus, that even if has attained a high level of education, he would still want to ask Jesus some questions. So he decided to see Jesus in the middle of the night. To all of us, this is a little bit odd because if you want to meet a person why do you want to meet him in the middle of the night. But because Nicodemus feared the repercussions of being seen with Jesus which most of the Sanhedrin considered as a trouble maker. Nicodemus’ status might be in jeopardy if he is seen as talking and even worse as associating with Jesus.

However, after that conversation with Jesus, from being a coward afraid of being associated with Jesus, he openly defended him indirectly in the Sanhedrin by proposing that Jesus if captured deserved a hearing. Something which happened even though Nicodemus is still too afraid to defend him directly and this lead for Jesus to be delivered to Pilate to be executed.

But at the end of Jesus’ life, he went out openly to anoint the body of the dead Jesus. And together with Joseph of Arimathea, another member of the Sanhedrin they buried Jesus in a tomb. So because of Jesus, we have seen how the life of Nicodemus transformed as a person who is seeking for the truth but once he has found it he slowly gained courage to follow Jesus in the end.

So the question for us is that are we also like Nicodemus who is searching for the truth. And if we have found the truth in Jesus do we also have the courage to stand by Jesus? A lot of Christians have done so through the millennia, do we have the courage to do the same?

 

Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2018 12:35