Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B)


By Grace We Are Saved Through Faith

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B)

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23

In those days, all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the LORD’s temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. Early and often did the LORD, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the LORD against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy. Their enemies burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects. Those who escaped the sword were carried captive to Babylon, where they became servants of the king of the Chaldeans and his sons until the kingdom of the Persians came to power. All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah: “Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled.” In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: “Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!”

Ephesians 2:4-10

Brothers and sisters: God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ — by grace you have been saved —, raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.

John 3:14-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Shiu Lan

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16) is the key message in this Sunday’s Gospel reading. In the Lenten season, the Passion of Christ is a stark reminder of God’s love for us. Christ died on the Cross for our salvation. St. Paul told us in the Second Reading that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8) and that we who believe are “created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Lent is a good time for us to reflect on the way we live. Are we living according to the teaching of Jesus and of His Church?

For those of us who profess to follow Jesus, we must not let worldly pleasures, successes and material things distract us from our gift of faith. This can be difficult at times and it is easy for us to lose focus on eternal life, especially when we live in a relatively affluent society where we have to make an effort to not let ourselves be immersed in consumerism. The throw-away culture in which all is disposable is corroding our society. Even life itself has become disposable. Abortion and assisted suicide are legalized in our society. The aged and the sick are perceived by many people as a burden. They are seen as commodities reaching the end of their ‘shelf lives’. Humans are degraded to become mere things, to be used and disposed of at will. The world around us is embracing the culture of death.

The Church’s invitation for us to spent Lent prayerfully through venerating the Way of the Cross and taking part in retreats is a reminder for us to live responsibly according to the teaching of Jesus and His Church that proclaims a culture of life and promises eternal life. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation that the Church encourages us to receive during Lent, through the mandated fasting and abstinence, our hearts will be softened, our minds and spirits strengthened and our whole being invigorated and prepared so that we will not lose sight and hope of the eternal life that is to come.

St. Paul told us that we who believe are “created in Christ Jesus for good works”. As we re-live the Passion of Christ in Lent, let us respond to His love and sacrifice for us by making a special effort for good works. An act of kindness from each one of us may collectively contribute towards saving a baby from being aborted. Accompanying a family member, relative, friend or neighbor stricken with a devastating illness with tender love and care may enable them to find meaning in their suffering instead of harboring the thought of taking their own lives. No good works are too trivial to do, for Jesus told us in this Sunday’s Gospel reading that “those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (John 3:21)

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.


乙年 四旬期第四主日



乙年 四旬期第四主日

編年紀下 36:14-16,19-23

那時候,所有的司祭、首長和百姓,都罪上加罪,仿效了異族所做的一切醜惡之事,污辱了上主在耶路撒冷祝聖的聖殿。上主、他們祖先的天主,由於愛惜自己的百姓和自己的居所,時常不斷派遣使者警戒他們。無奈,他們都嘲笑了天主的使者,輕視了天主的勸言,譏笑了天主的先知,致使上主的怒火,發洩在他的百姓身上,直到無法救治。 敵人焚毀了上主的殿宇,拆毀了耶路撒冷的城牆,燒了城中所有的宮殿,毀壞了城內一切珍貴的器皿;凡沒有死於刀下的人,都被擄到巴比倫去,作巴比倫王及他子孫的奴僕,直到波斯帝國興起。這樣,就應驗了上主藉耶肋米亞的口,所說的話:「為填補沒有遵守的安息年,這塊土地要一直荒涼七十年。」 波斯王居魯士元年,為應驗上主藉耶肋米亞的口,所說的話,上主感動了波斯王居魯士的心,叫他出一道號令,通告全國,說:「波斯王居魯士這樣說:上天的神:『上主』,將地上萬國交給了我,囑咐我在猶大的耶路撒冷,為他建築一座殿宇;你們中間凡做他子民的,都可以上去耶路撒冷;願他的神與他同在!」

聖保祿宗徒致厄弗所人書 2:4-10

富於慈悲的天主,因著他愛我們的大愛,竟在我們因犯罪而喪亡的時候,使我們同基督一起生活;可見你們的得救,是由於恩寵。 天主使我們同基督一起復活,並使我們在基督耶穌內,和他一同坐在天上,為將自己無限豐富的恩寵,即他在基督耶穌內,對我們所懷有的慈惠,顯示給未來的世代。 因為你們得救是由於恩寵,藉著信德,所以得救並不是出於你們自己,而是天主的恩惠;不是出於功行,免得有人自誇。原來我們是他的化工,是在基督耶穌內受造的,為行天主所預備的各種善工,叫我們在這些善工中度日。

聖若望福音 3:14-21

那時候,耶穌向尼苛德摩說:「梅瑟曾在曠野裡高舉了蛇,人子也應照樣,被舉起來,使凡信的人,在他內獲得永生。」 天主竟這樣愛了世界,甚至賜下了自己的獨生子,使凡信他的人,不至喪亡,反而獲得永生。因為天主沒有派遣子到世界上來,審判世界,而是為叫世界,藉著他而獲救。那信從他的,不受審判;那不信的,已受到了審判,因為他沒有信從天主獨生子的名字。 審判就在於此:光明來到了世界,世人卻愛黑暗甚於光明,因為他們的行為是邪惡的。的確,凡作惡的,都憎惡光明,也不來接近光明,怕自己的行為暴露出來;然而履行真理的,卻來接近光明,為顯示出他的行為,是在天主內完成的。

Shiu Lan

這主日福音讀經的重點是「天主這樣愛了世人,竟賜下了衪的獨生子,使凡信衪的人不至喪亡,反而獲得永生」 (若3:16) 。在四旬期,基督的苦難淸楚地提醒我們天主對我們的愛。基督為救贖我們,死在十字架上。聖保祿在讀經二告訴我們: 「你們是由於恩寵,藉著信德而得救,所以救恩並非出於你們自己,而是天主的恩寵;」 而我們這些信衪的人,是 「天主在基督耶穌內創造了我們,就是要我們按照祂預先的安排,在生活中行善。」

四旬期是我們反思自己生活的好機會. 我們是否按照耶穌和教會的教導來生活?

我們自認跟隨耶穌的人, 不能因世間的享樂,成就和物質生活而分心,忘記了我們所相信的都是天主賜給我們的恩寵。有時候,要我們不分心是困難的。要專注於永生絕不容易,尤其是當我們生活在一個比較富裕的社會裡,我們要很費勁才不致沉溺於過度消費中。什麼都可以扔掉的文化正在腐蝕着我們的社會。甚至生命也是可以扔掉的。在這地方,墮胎和協助自殺已經合法化。很多人都視年老病弱的人為負擔,只是一件有效期快滿的商品。人已經淪為用完即棄的物件,死亡文化已包圍着我們。

教會邀請我們在四旬期內熱心祈禱,拜苦路和參加退省,就是提醒我們要按照耶穌和教會的教導來生活, 耶穌和教會教導我們熱愛生命,亦應許我們永恒的生命。通過教會鼓勵我們在四旬期內接受修和聖事, 要守大小齋, 使我們不再心硬,我們的思想精神更堅定 ,整個人都會重新振作,作好準備,不會忘記永生和失去對永生的希望。

聖保祿告訴我們,我們這些信徒 「在基督耶穌內創造…就是要…在生活中行善。」當我們在四旬期再次體驗基督的苦難時,讓我們加倍努力在生活中行善, 以回應基督的愛和犧牲。如果我們每個人都出一分力去行善,我們可能會合力救回一個因墮胎而失去的小生命。如果我們每個人都用愛心和關懷去陪伴患重病的家人,親戚,朋友,鄰人,他們可能會找到病苦的意義,而不會想及結束自己的生命。不要以善小而不為, 因為在主日的讀經, 耶穌說:「履行真理的,卻來接近光明,為了顯示出他的行為是在天主內完成的。」

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.


乙年 四旬期第四主日



乙年 四旬期第四主日

编年纪下 36:14-16,19-23

那时候,所有的司祭、首长和百姓,都罪上加罪,仿效了异族所做的一切丑恶之事,污辱了上主在耶路撒冷祝圣的圣殿。上主、他们祖先的天主,由于爱惜自己的百姓和自己的居所,时常不断派遣使者警戒他们。无奈,他们都嘲笑了天主的使者,轻视了天主的劝言,讥笑了天主的先知,致使上主的怒火,发泄在他的百姓身上,直到无法救治。敌人焚毁了上主的殿宇,拆毁了耶路撒冷的城墙,烧了城中所有的宫殿,毁坏了城内一切珍贵的器皿;凡没有死于刀下的人,都被掳到巴比伦去,作巴比伦王及他子孙的奴仆,直到波斯帝国兴起。这样,就应验了上主借耶肋米亚的口,所说的话:「为填补没有遵守的安息年,这块土地要一直荒凉七十年。」 波斯王居鲁士元年,为应验上主借耶肋米亚的口,所说的话,上主感动了波斯王居鲁士的心,叫他出一道号令,通告全国,说:「波斯王居鲁士这样说:上天的神:『上主』,将地上万国交给了我,嘱咐我在犹大的耶路撒冷,为他建筑一座殿宇;你们中间凡做他子民的,都可以上去耶路撒冷;愿他的神与他同在!」

圣保禄宗徒致厄弗所人书 2:4-10


圣若望福音 3:14-21

那时候,耶稣向尼苛德摩说:「梅瑟曾在旷野里高举了蛇,人子也应照样,被举起来,使凡信的人,在他内获得永生。」 天主竟这样爱了世界,甚至赐下了自己的独生子,使凡信他的人,不至丧亡,反而获得永生。因为天主没有派遣子到世界上来,审判世界,而是为叫世界,借着他而获救。那信从他的,不受审判;那不信的,已受到了审判,因为他没有信从天主独生子的名字。审判就在于此:光明来到了世界,世人却爱黑暗甚于光明,因为他们的行为是邪恶的。的确,凡作恶的,都憎恶光明,也不来接近光明,怕自己的行为暴露出来;然而履行真理的,却来接近光明,为显示出他的行为,是在天主内完成的。

Shiu Lan

这主日福音读经的重点是「天主这样爱了世人,竟赐下了衪的独生子,使凡信衪的人不至丧亡,反而获得永生」 (若3:16) 。在四旬期,基督的苦难淸楚地提醒我们天主对我们的爱。基督为救赎我们,死在十字架上。圣保禄在读经二告诉我们: 「你们是由于恩宠,借着信德而得救,所以救恩并非出于你们自己,而是天主的恩宠;」 而我们这些信衪的人,是「天主在基督耶稣内创造了我们,就是要我们按照祂预先的安排,在生活中行善。」

四旬期是我们反思自己生活的好机会. 我们是否按照耶稣和教会的教导来生活?

我们自认跟随耶稣的人, 不能因世间的享乐,成就和物质生活而分心,忘记了我们所相信的都是天主赐给我们的恩宠。有时候,要我们不分心是困难的。要专注于永生绝不容易,尤其是当我们生活在一个比较富裕的社会里,我们要很费劲才不致沉溺于过度消费中。什么都可以扔掉的文化正在腐蚀着我们的社会。甚至生命也是可以扔掉的。在这地方,堕胎和协助自杀已经合法化。很多人都视年老病弱的人为负担,只是一件有效期快满的商品。人已经沦为用完即弃的物件,死亡文化已包围着我们。

教会邀请我们在四旬期内热心祈祷,拜苦路和参加退省,就是提醒我们要按照耶稣和教会的教导来生活, 耶稣和教会教导我们热爱生命,亦应许我们永恒的生命。通过教会鼓励我们在四旬期内接受修和圣事, 要守大小斋, 使我们不再心硬,我们的思想精神更坚定,整个人都会重新振作,作好准备,不会忘记永生和失去对永生的希望。

圣保禄告诉我们,我们这些信徒「在基督耶稣内创造…就是要…在生活中行善。」当我们在四旬期再次体验基督的苦难时,让我们加倍努力在生活中行善, 以回应基督的爱和牺牲。如果我们每个人都出一分力去行善,我们可能会合力救回一个因堕胎而失去的小生命。如果我们每个人都用爱心和关怀去陪伴患重病的家人,亲戚,朋友,邻人,他们可能会找到病苦的意义,而不会想及结束自己的生命。不要以善小而不为, 因为在主日的读经, 耶稣说:「履行真理的,却来接近光明,为了显示出他的行为是在天主内完成的。」

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.