(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, March 26, 2017)
Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
The Fourth Sunday in Lent is filled with light and celebrated in joy. In fact, we call it "Laetare Sunday."
At the beginning of the Mass today, the Church commands us: "Rejoice!" (Laetare).
Why ail this joy? Because it's "break-time" from the journey, when, like mountain climbers, we stop and look back to see how far we've come!
The readings are all about walking in the light, all about seeing things and people as God sees them. In the first reading, Samuel is forced to choose a new and better king than Saul. He visits Jesse, who lines up six stalwart sons. Which one is it, Samuel wonders? What a puzzle! Without the light of faith, he would never have chosen the seventh and youngest son, David.
In the second reading, St. Paul tells us to live as "children of the light." Light brings goodness.Light exposes the shameful works of darkness. The Gospel tells the story of the man born blind. After denying that the man was blind because of some terrible sin, Jesus bent over, scooped up a little clay, and smeared it on the eyes of the blind man.
You'd think the Pharisees would have been delighted and grateful at this miracle. But, no, because they were spiritually blind, they couldn't see beyond the law. They quibbled and complained that Jesus has broken the Sabbath rest. Even though they considered themselves enlightened scholars, they were really blind. They didn't see from the heart.
If Laetare Sunday is a time to rejoice, then we rejoice today that we have light in us which comes from our Baptism, from the living experience of sharing faith in our families and from having our sins forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. God draws us out of darkness into light and calls us also to be light bearers.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor