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A Note on Today’s Readings 
Second Sunday in Lent

First Reading   Genesis 12:1-4a

Second Reading   Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

Gospel   John:1-17

Welcome to our parish. Today’s readings focus on the theme of journey. Whenever we travel, we undergo the pain of leaving behind familiar things and the uncertainty of a new future. In Lent, Christians remember that they are life-long “pilgrims in a strange land,” people on a journey into the future that God has prepared for us.

The Old Testament reading tells of the story of Abraham’s calling by God, and the beginning of his journey into the Promised Land. In this new and unknown place, God opened up new rivers of grace for Abraham and Sarah. In the second reading, Paul expounds on Abraham as the father of faith and as our ancestor in the faith. The journey begun by Abraham and Sarah is a journey that continues in our lives and a journey begun this Lent by all those among us who seek baptism at Easter.

Nicodemus is also interested in a journey—the journey into God’s Kingdom. Here a leading rabbi comes to discuss God’s Word with Jesus, whom he recognizes as a fellow rabbi. John tells us this was Passover season and it was accounted specially blessed for rabbis to discuss God’s Word through the night during that season. Jesus reveals the way into God’s Kingdom to be a new birth, a birth from heaven through water and the Holy Spirit.

We gather to support each other in our journey, to pray for those who will be baptized, and to be nourished by Christ in his Word and Sacraments—they are our food for the journey.

From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.