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Gospel reflection

March 10, 2024: Fourth Sunday of Lent

Gospel: John 3: 14-21

“…so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” (vs. 14) But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (vs. 21)

Once again John offers us a deepening of the significance of the presence of Jesus in his community and ours. This scripture passage (John 3: 14-21) is a reflection on the present in light of the past circumstances. It was through the Johannine community’s faith experiences that the people connected to and grasped the depths of the meaning of living in the Risen One.

In John chapter 3 Jesus is talking with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. John is interpreting the meaning of Jesus’ identity as Son of God, “The one descended from heaven” who will “ascend to heaven.”  (vs. 11)  And,” As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”  The Passion and crucifixion of Jesus are predicted by John with an emphasis upon death as revelatory of the full meaning of God’s Word for us.

“Who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.” (vs. 14-16)  


A light and a dark motif follow.  This theme has implications for all times and places. The use of the word “Judgment” in John relates to the present situation in which the revelation of God is through the actions of Jesus’ crucifixion. Eternal life or death rests on each one’s response to the lifting up of the Son from death into life resurrected.  To live in light over darkness.  To live to be expressions of our faith in a loving and saving God in Jesus.


What does it mean for me and you to live in the light? How might I, how might you, step out of darkness into the light by our daily, moment by moment, living?  Knowing we are all working at light living makes a difference.

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Sister Barbara Sheehan

Sister Barbara Sheehan

Sister Barbara Sheehan, SP, a Sister of Providence since 1960, lives in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods after several years in Chicago, where she ministered as Executive Director/ACPE Supervisor of the Urban Clinical Pastoral Education Consortium, Inc. and as a spiritual director. She has extensive training not only in clinical pastoral supervision but also in care with those sexually abused, those challenged with mental illness and those suffering trauma. She has offered many workshops at regional, national and international conferences, is the author of Partner in Covenant: The Art of Spiritual Companionship and of numerous articles including one of her latest, Formation For Professional Practice: Addressing Social Hurts" in Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, Vol. 34 2014.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Arthur on March 7, 2024 at 10:25 am

    My desire for eternal life leads me to the light. In darker moments I seek peace and quiet and pray with the Holy Spirit. This brings me to the light of Christ Jesus.

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