God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.
Second reading for the 4th Sunday of Lent
St Paul uses language which echoes that of the parable of the two brothers (aka the Prodigal Son). He says the we, like the younger son, were dead, but have now been brought to life. – not by our merit, but entirely by his grace.
We, the younger brother meet with welcome not only from the Father, but also from our older brother who has sought us out and brought us home.
Image derived from mosaic at the Sacred Heart, Aston, Birmingham. (c) 2016, Allen Morris