Fourth Sunday of Lent – Ambassadors of Reconciliation
Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
A new job and title assigned to us (and the Corinthians) by Paul: “Ambassadors of Reconciliation.” Not bad. I like it because the one whom we represent and is sending us, and to whom we report, is Jesus Christ. I also like it because the focus of our ambassadorship “reconciliation” is currently one of the most important and challenging needs of our contemporary world – at least that’s my take on today’s state of affairs.
Do I need to enumerate the seemingly endless examples of verbal and physical assaults that are both the result of divisiveness and hate and perpetuate them? But now I am getting a little scared – it’s a daunting task. I am not sure that I am up to it.
We are given some guidance: first, I must be reconciled with Christ. This is good guidance for the quasi-midpoint of Lent. Let’s get on with the job of allowing Jesus more deeply into our lives through even a further commitment to the three Lenten observances: praying (especially the listening part of prayer), sacrifice, and charity and caring. This “Rejoicing Sunday” we do rejoice in the reconciliation already won in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ as we strive to move our own lives more deeply into the heart of that reality.