Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 10, 2024

March 10, 2024


March 10, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Lent





Today's readings call us to reflect on the redemptive and transformative power of God’s love and grace.

Our first reading from 2 Chronicles, serves as a warning against the consequences of sin and disobedience. The people of Israel had turned away from God and his commandments, despite him sending messengers and prophets, and as a result, they experienced the devastation of exile and destruction. Yet, even amid their suffering, God remained faithful to his promises, and he raised up Cyrus to deliver his people and restore them to their land.

This passage reminds us of the importance of repentance and conversion in our own lives. It calls us to turn away from sin and to turn back to God, who is rich in mercy and forgiveness. No matter how far we may have strayed from God's path, there is always hope for redemption and renewal in through his loving grace.

In the letter to the Ephesians, we are reminded that our salvation is a gift from God, given freely out of God’s great love for us. We cannot earn this gift through our efforts; it is purely a result of God's grace. This passage echoes the theme of God's unconditional love and mercy, which lies at the heart of the Gospel message.

Finally in our Gospel according to John, Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus of the ultimate sacrifice and the transformative power of love. He recalls a moment in Israel's history when they were suffering from the poisonous bites of serpents. Moses, at God's command, raised a bronze serpent on a pole, and all who looked upon it were healed.  Just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent to be healed from the bites of poisonous snakes, so must we look upon Christ on the cross to find healing and salvation for our souls. This act of self-sacrifice embodies the principle of solidarity, as Jesus willingly embraces suffering and death for the sake of humanity.

Jesus reminds us that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, not to condemn the world, but that we might be saved through him. This profound message of salvation and redemption, rooted in the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ is deeply connected to the themes of Catholic social teaching, which call us to work for justice and equality for all people, particularly those who are marginalized and oppressed.

Sister Thea Bowman, a beloved figure in the Church, exemplified this spirit of solidarity and love in her life and ministry. She dedicated herself to working for racial justice and reconciliation, and she sought to bring the love of Christ to all people, especially those on the margins of society. Sister Thea understood that the message of the Gospel is one of liberation and hope, and she tirelessly worked to make that message known to all.

In our world today, countless individuals and communities continue to suffer from the effects of injustice and marginalization. Whether it be due to race, ethnicity, economic status, or any other factor, there are far too many who are denied the basic rights and opportunities that should be available to all of God's beloved children.

As Catholics, we cannot stand idly by while our brothers and sisters suffer. We are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who reached out to the marginalized and the outcast, who challenged the injustices of his time, and who ultimately gave his life so that all may have life in abundance.

This means working to address the root causes of injustice, whether it be through advocacy, education, or direct action. It means standing up against systems and structures that perpetuate inequality and oppression. It means opening our hearts and our minds to the experiences of those who are different from us and seeking to understand and empathize with their struggles.

But above all, it means embodying the love and compassion of Christ in all that we do. It means seeing the face of Christ in the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed, and responding with love and solidarity. It means living lives of radical love and hospitality, welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the least among us.

As we reflect on this Gospel passage and the message of Sister Thea Bowman, let us recommit ourselves to the work of building a more just and compassionate society. Let us pray for the courage and the strength to stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult. And let us never forget the words of Jesus, who reminds us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for him.

May the love of Christ inspire and guide us in all that we do, and may we always be a beacon of hope and justice in a world that so desperately needs it. Amen.

First Reading

2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23


Ps 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

Second Reading

Eph 2:4-10


Jn 3:14-21
Read texts at

Ogechi Akalegbere

Ogechi Akalegbere

Ogechi Akalegbere is a Nigerian-American who currently works as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Washington. She previously served as the Christian Service Coordinator at an all-girls Independent Catholic School where she served as a diversity co-practitioner and ministry leader. She also uses her gifts as a public speaker, fitness instructor, and community organizer.

Ogechi grew up in and lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and when she is not at work or creating digital content she is either enjoying quality time with her husband of five years or at the gym lifting weights. She has a passion for social justice, empowering individuals to find their inner and outer strength and solidarity with those in the margins. She has served as a catechist, lector, pastoral council co-chair, and small group leader at her parish and diocese and is involved as a community organizer and diversity practitioner in her community. Ogechi uses her training as an equity facilitator and practitioner to help parishes, organizations, and small groups digest what equity means to them and those they encounter. Ogechi combines her passion for community organizing and her Catholic faith as a board member of Catholics United for Black Lives. Ogechi is the 2021 winner of the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.



The second of three volumes from the Catholic Women Preach project of FutureChurch offers homilies for each Sunday and holy days of the liturgical year by Catholic women from around the world.  The first volume for Cycle A received awards for best book on Liturgy from both the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Catholic Media Association.

“Catholic Women Preach is one of the more inspiring collection of homilies available today. Based on the deep spirituality and insights of the various women authors, the homilies are solidly based on the scriptures and offer refreshing and engaging insights for homilists and listeners. The feminine perspective has long been absent in the preached word, and its inclusion in this work offers a long overdue and pastorally necessary resource for the liturgical life of the Church.” - Catholic Media Association

Purchase at Orbis Books

Advertise with Catholic Women Preach: email Russ at