30,000 Reasons To Smile in Lent
Lent Reflection - Fourth Sunday of Lent
Father Nicholas Federspiel, Chaplain to the Poor Clares and Prison Ministry
March 7, 2024

Imagine receiving 30,000 text messages. Imagine receiving 30,000 emails. Imagine receiving 30,000 postcards — with messages from Jesus!

Isn’t this what the Bible is? The Bible contains 30,000 verses and each verse is a message from Jesus.

Many folks wonder: why do so many of the verses of the Bible contain stories of people who are hurting? Why do we read one account after another of Jesus meeting people with problems?

A crook on a cross. A wild fellow in a cemetery. Nicodemus rejected. Peter ashamed. Joseph bewildered. Martha bereaved.

Though their circumstances vary, their conditions don’t. They have nowhere to turn — on their lips a desperate prayer, in their heart a desolate dream, and in their hands a broken rope.

But before their eyes stands a never-say-die Galilean who steps in when everyone else steps out.

Why are these portraits in the verses of the Bible — so we could be grateful for the past? So we could look back with amazement at what Jesus did?

No! The purpose of these stories is not just to tell us what Jesus did. Their purpose is to tell us what Jesus does.

That’s the Good News message of the Bible: Jesus doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. And we are reminded whenever we read the Bible that what Jesus did then He is ready, willing, and able to do today.

Jesus expects us to know and share the Good News: to be reminded that the God who spoke still speaks and to know that the God who forgave still forgives.

Think of the Good News: Jesus knows us, Jesus loves us, and Jesus really, really likes us!

What a gift to discover and share the Good News: that Jesus is the one — the only one — who makes God visible, change possible, happiness attainable, suffering understandable, sin forgivable, and Heaven available!


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