Sunday, March 22, 2020

Laetare Sunday

Today we celebrate Laetare Sunday.  It is the fourth Sunday of Lent, in the Western Christian liturgical calendar. Traditionally, this Sunday has been a day of celebration, within the austere period of Lent. This Sunday gets its name from the first few words of the traditional Latin entrance (Introit) for the Mass of the day. "Laetare Jerusalem" ("Rejoice, O Jerusalem") is Latin from Isaiah 66:10 (Rejoice, Jerusalem, all you who love her…) Today the celebrant will wear rose colored vestments and the atmosphere is much more uplifting.  We are at the midpoint of the Lenten journey and today is meant to be one of rejoicing to encourage the faithful for the final push to Easter.

In the Mass readings, Psalm 23 promises us that we will lack nothing with the Lord as our Shepherd. Some of us are at home right now, experiencing still waters for the first time in a long time. We pray God is restoring your soul. Others are serving on the front lines of hospitals and doctors' offices or at home with extra demands. We pray God is giving you everything you need. May we all hold on to the hand of our Good Shepherd.

In the lengthy Gospel we hear the familiar story of the man born blind.  There is much to reflect on in this story – you have the man born blind who is healed by Jesus, the Pharisees who are eager to condemn Jesus for healing him, the man’s parents who are too afraid to get involved and Jesus.  Who do you see yourself relating to in this story?  Which person is God calling you to be?

We are living through a rather dark time right now as we embrace our new normal -- living through the restrictions of the coronavirus.  Now is the time to turn to our faith knowing that our God of love and compassion is walking with us.  As we continue to live the journey toward what promises to be a different Easter let us remember that our God desires us to be filled with light, love and peace.

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