There is a logical development in the readings this Sunday: in the Old Testament, God asks us to look forward to the “new deed he will do”, when he will put “water in the wilderness”; we then see the new deed, which Paul talks about, to be the “supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus”, and sharing the “power of his resurrection”; so who is this Jesus, and how is he “water in the wilderness ? It is because he brings hope for the future and forgiveness of our sins, as the Gospel story relates. This Sunday’s readings are there for our encouragement, to help us look forward to Easter, and the meaning of Jesus Passion, Death and Resurrection: that meaning is Reconciliation and a new creation (as we heard last week). We are driven on through Lent by a vision of the marvels that God has worked, and that God will work for us.

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