Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
May 19, 2024


Forty days before the Triduum, the Lenten season disposes Catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery through prayer and penitential practices.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Reading I : 2 Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-29

Early and often did God send messengers to them.

  • The Second Book of Chronicles was written after the Babylonian exile as a reinterpretation of history for the new situation in which the people found themselves.
  • A major focus of hope for the returned community was the rebuilt temple, a sign of the return of God’s presence.
  • The people saw the destruction of the former temple as a punishment for their sins and a fulfillment of the prophets' warnings.

Reading II : Ephesians 2:4-10

God is rich in mercy.

  • The Letter to the Ephesians emphasizes that God’s salvation is a gift and not something earned by human effort.
  • In the Hebrew Scriptures the major covenant virtues of love and fidelity are manifested in God and demanded of humans.
  • In Ephesians we are told again that it is because of God’s great love and abundant mercy that we are brought to life in Christ.

Gospel : John 3:14-21

The light came into the world.

  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus explains the truth seen in faith to Nicodemus.
  • Those who choose eternal life receive it because of faith in Christ.
  • Humans choose salvation or reject it just as they choose or reject life.