Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B)


“It is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5)

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

In this Sundayʼs Gospel reading, we have assurance from St. John that God still loves us immensely despite the sinfulness of humanity that is responsible for the darkness and evils of the world, “God does not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

St. Paul tells us in the second reading that God‘s love for us is unconditional, “it is by grace you have been saved”. Although our salvation is “not the result of works, so that no one can boast”, we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2: 5, 8, 10).

How do we live our life in good works? St. Paulʼs advice is “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:9). What does this mean in our own circumstances? We must find out and act accordingly. In whatever good we do to our neighbours, sometimes it could be a sincere greeting, a kind word, a warm smile, considerate thinking and listening with the heart that makes all the difference. This reminds me of Veronica wiping the face of Jesus when we pray “The Way of the Cross” during Lent. What she does cannot relieve Jesusʼ pain and suffering, but her courageous action offers solace to Jesus as he walks the desolate path of His Passion.

The following prayer taken from Station Six, The Way of the Cross with Pope Francis, published by CNEWA Canada* in 2017, is food for thought as we contemplate what is pleasing to God:

“Lord, help me to see Your face in my brothers and sisters who walk the way of pain and humiliation.

Teach me to dry the tears and blood of those trodden down in every age. Of all those ruthlessly cast aside by a rich and careless society.

Help me to glimpse Your face of infinite beauty behind every human face.”


*CNEWA Canada stands for Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

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


「你們得救是由於恩寵」(弗 2:5)

乙年 四旬期第四主日

恭讀編年紀下 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

本週主日福音讀經,聖若望向我們保證,雖然世上的黑暗和邪惡皆因人的罪惡而起,然而「天主派遣聖子到世界來,不是為定世人的罪,而是要世人藉着祂而得救」(若 3:17)。

聖保祿在讀經二告訴我們,天主對我們的愛,並沒有條件:「你們得救是由於恩寵」。我們得救「不是出於人的善行,以免有人自誇」,而是「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」(弗 2: 5, 8, 10)。

我們如何在生活中行善?聖保祿的忠告就是「要辨認甚麼是天主所喜歡的事」(弗 5: 10)。在我們自己的情況下,這句話的意思是甚麼?我們必須辨認並身體力行。無論我們為自己的鄰人行了甚麼善,有時,令事情不一樣的可能是一個真誠的問候,仁慈的話語,溫暖的笑容,顧及別人的想法和用心聆聽。這使我想起在四旬期《苦路善功》的祈禱中,韋洛尼加替耶穌抹臉。她這勇敢的行為雖然不能減輕祂的痛苦, 卻為在苦路上受難的耶穌帶來安慰。

從以下由 CNEWA Canada* 於2017年出版的《與教宗方濟各一起拜苦路》第六處的祈禱,可以幫助我們思考甚麼是天主喜歡的事:





*CNEWA Canada 的全名是 Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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


「你们得救是由于恩宠」(弗 2:5)

乙年 四旬期第四主日

恭读编年纪下 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


圣保禄在读经二告诉我们,天主对我们的爱,并没有条件:「你们得救是由于恩宠」。我们得救「不是出于人的善行,以免有人自夸」,而是「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」(弗2: 5, 8, 10 )。

我们如何在生活中行善?圣保禄的忠告就是「要辨认什么是天主所喜欢的事」(弗 5: 10)。在我们自己的情况下,这句话的意思是什么?我们必须辨认并身体力行。无论我们为自己的邻人行了什么善,有时,令事情不一样的可能是一个真诚的问候,仁慈的话语,温暖的笑容,顾及别人的想法和用心聆听。这使我想起在四旬期《苦路善功》的祈祷中,韦洛尼加替耶稣抹脸。她这勇敢的行为虽然不能减轻祂的痛苦, 却为在苦路上受难的耶稣带来安慰。

从以下由 CNEWA Canada* 于2017年出版的《与教宗方济各一起拜苦路》第六处的祈祷,可以帮助我们思考什么是天主喜欢的事:





*CNEWA Canada 的全名是 Catholic Near East Welfare Association

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.