Maria Kozakiewicz


Fourth Sunday in Lent – March 15, 2015
2 Chronicles 36.14-17, 19-23 | Psalm 137 | Ephesians 2.4-10 | John 3.14-21
March 9, 2015

This Sunday's readings can be frightening. When I read about the many transgressions of Jerusalem and the punishment that had to come and did come, I could not help thinking about our own times.

If the Chosen People who did not know Jesus, who were not given the Holy Spirit, were so severely treated by God, what about us? We have the Gospels, the sacraments, the Holy Spirit and the 2,000-year tradition of the Church.

We have been blessed with countless saints whose lives served as road signs for generations – until ours. Over the past two centuries Mary, the Mother of God, has appeared to many visionaries and, often weeping, called for a return to God, for prayer, for repentance.

Two horrible wars chastised the world in the 20th century – yet we seem to be slipping down toward a dark abyss.

The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light. – John 3.19

'The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light.'

John 3.19

We live in a special time. I do not know if this is the end times in the apocalyptic sense, but some kind of end is approaching.

On one side, we have unprecedented access to advanced technology and knowledge; on the other, we seem to exceed all previously living humans in shallowness, religious indifference, insensitivity to the suffering of others and, alas, also moral depravation.

Families fall apart, children are neglected, selfishness rules. The same advanced medical technology that prolongs human life murders unborn children. The old have to rely on institutions to live out their lives.

We have become gods who decide – by introducing laws – who is to live and who is to die, who is a woman and who is a man, what constitutes marriage and what does not. Natural law is violated over and over.

Yet, in this darkness, the words of God who loves the world so much that he gave his only Son so we may have life, resound strong and never fail.

Despite our sins and stupidity, God loves the world. He loves every creature that has ever existed. As long as God loves us, everything is not lost but gained, not doomed but saved.

True goodness is often hidden.

My Lloydminster's friend's mom recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and I got some pictures of the family reunion that graced this occasion. Here she was: a slim, elegant lady sitting in the middle of her several children, grandchildren in the upper row, great-great-grandkids seated on the ground. She was like a tree with branches growing out of her.

God's grace was all over her. I thought about the nights she must have spent nursing her kids when they were small, the loaves of bread her hands made to feed them, jars of jam and pickles she put away in the pantry every autumn.

I also thought about the Hail Marys that went heavenward from her lips and heart and the Masses she attended and offered for others.

Yes, God loves the world, and in the end everything will be well.