2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23:
In those days, all the… priests, and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lord’s temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling palace. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the Lord against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy. Their enemies burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects. Those who escaped the sword were carried captive to Babylon, where they became servants of the king of the Chaldeans and his sons until the kingdom of the Persians came to poer… The time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled.” In the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord inspired King Cyrus of Persian to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, but by word of mouth and in writing: “thus says Cyrus, King of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord, the God of Heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!”
Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
Brothers and Sisters: God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to lifworks, so no one may boast [yet good works increase grace…]. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
St. Jn 3:14-21:
Jesus said to Nicodeumus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
*It seems a lot of people these days think/believe that God’s wrath is a thing of the past. Yet it occurs to me that His wrath may even be greater now… considering all He did in sending His beloved Son to die on a cross for us and we still (some of us) reject Him. Even those who accept Him *reject *Him when they choose sin over His way… :eek: *