March 10th 2024 Fourth Sunday of Lent



‘God loved the world so much

that He gave His only Son to save it’

The tomb of St. John Henry Newman bears the striking epitaph: ‘Out of darkness and images into the Truth’. These well chosen words capture the essence of the human search for meaning that fills the pages of Scripture. Nicodemus is a case in point. He was a man of substance, an influential leader within his community, a renowned teacher of the Law and yet he was searching for more. Having heard about Jesus, he was curious. Drawn by the simplicity, freshness and quiet authority of His preaching he approaches the Master under cover of darkness. There in the quiet space he elicits from the Lord the wonderfully consoling teaching that sums up the entire Gospel and will change his life forever. ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son to save it’. In that tender moment of enlightenment a heart is touched, a thirst is quenched and a curious searcher becomes a devoted follower. The expert in the Law meets Love, is surprised by love and is now impelled to spread love because love changes everything. It changes the way we see and hear and respond. We next meet Nicodemus defending Jesus at His trial before the Sanhedrin, and finally and most movingly we see him walking up the Hill of Calvary on Good Friday carrying precious spices in order to give his Saviour a decent burial. It is he, together with Joseph of Arimathea who take Jesus from the cross and return Him to His mother. In Nicodemus, we see someone who, because of his encounter with Jesus, gave up what he was to become what he could be. Having stepped out of the shadows, he discovered the Truth. Isn’t that what the Lenten journey is meant to be?