Redemptive joy flowing from the cross of Christ

With this fourth Sunday of Lent, known as Laetare Sunday, Sunday of joy, we are in the middle of Lent. On this Sunday the Church invites her sons and daughters to rejoice in the nearness of our redemption.

In this passage from the Gospel of (Jn. 3:14-21) we hear this constant invitation of Jesus: “The one who lives by the truth comes out into the light.” Jesus is the true Light that illumines the human heart (Jn. 1:8). Throughout the Gospel, Jesus affirms that he is the Light of the world: “No one who believes in him will be condemned.”

To believe in the light is to become a child of the Light (Jn. 12:36). Those who believe in Jesus do not remain in darkness but in light (Jn. 12:46). Dear friends, believing in Jesus means attentive listening, constant acceptance and following him with our eyes fixed on the cross, because Christ is the “Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn. 14:6).

Jesus presents the cross to us as the summit of his mission. He says it in the Gospel: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that all who believe in him may have eternal life” (Jn. 3:14-15). The cross of Christ is the pinnacle, the fullness of God’s love that gives us salvation. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). The Lord loves us unconditionally and never tires of our infidelities.

Our condition as children of God is the fruit of the love of the Father’s heart. Only the power of God’s love can change our hearts and make us triumph over our sin. In the face of God’s offer and proposal of salvation, each one is called to make a free and conscious choice. When we truly adhere to Jesus’ proposal, we choose life and definitive joy. As Saint Paul says in the second reading, “God, who is rich in mercy, has restored us to life in Christ” (Eph. 2:4-10) to lead a righteous life nourished by the cross of Christ.

May we know how to revive our lives, our families, our community and our Church through the cross of Christ!

It is on the cross that our “Easter” joy is born, redemptive joy. From the cross flows life and salvation for all of us. Therefore, it is necessary to set out with our gaze fixed on that sign where we have been and are permanently healed. In this favourable season of Lent, let us meditate on the cross and on the joy that flows from it.

May Mary, mother and bearer of redemptive joy, accompany us on this Lenten journey!