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Bulletin: March 14, 2021

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

The end of 2 Chronicles claims that “all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people” were continuously unfaithful to their covenant with God. This infidelity ultimately led to seventy years of exile in Babylon, after which Cyrus, the Persian ruler who conquered Babylon, allows the people of Israel to return home and rebuild their temple; the Psalmist reflects on the bitterness of those seventy years. Paul is lyrical in praising God “who is rich in mercy” and who “brought us to life” with Christ, while the evangelist recounts preaching by Jesus on this same theme. This is the section of John that includes the oft-memorized John 3:16: “For God so loved the word . . .” All three readings emphasize God’s desire to rescue—or redeem—humanity from pain and suffering.