The Catholic Parish of
Blessed John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Word This Week ~ 15 March 2015

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First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23

In this reading we have a theological reflection on the history of Israel. The writer is able to see the hand of God in the events that have shaped his people. Ae we able to see the hand of God at work in recent history? It is tempting to think of great men, or humanity as a whole, as the agents of
change. However, there is very little we control. Great men are an illusion. Ultimately, it is God who is in charge.



Second Reading: Ephesians 2:4-10

Artists can be very precious about their work; and rightly so. They have poured their heart and soul in their work. Even though they may sell or produce art for someone else, it is still, somehow, always theirs. It is in this context we read the lines: We are Godís work of art. He has poured his very life into us. We are his. The work forever bears the signature of the creator no matter how badly it may be treated by the world.


Gospel Reading: John 3:14-21

In the opening lines of the Gospel we have a trans-valuation of values. That which is deadly (the serpent) became a symbol of healing (Mosesí bronze work). That which is shameful (crucified man) will become the gateway to resurrection (Jesus on the cross). In cultures of transition it
is not uncommon to note moments of trans-valuation. Positions or people that were once considered honourable are now contemptible. Lifestyles that were once considered deviant or immoral are now normalised. Is trans-valuation a good or a bad thing? It can be either, or. A traditional symbol that is placed out of context can shock us into thinking. Nicodemus would have been shocked by what Jesus was saying. But he needed to be shocked out of his comfort zone in order to experience the grace of God.



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