A Note From Fr. LeRoy
In the Western liturgical calendar “Laetare Sunday” or as it is better known, “Rejoice Sunday” is the Fourth Sunday in the season of Lent. The word, “Laetare” comes from the Latin entrance antiphon for the Mass of the day: “Laetare Jerusalem” (Rejoice, O Jerusalem) taken from Isaiah 66:10. It reminds us that despite our time of mourning and repentance for our sins, God is holding out his peace and reconciliation and joy for us. This Fourth Sunday of Lent is really a way for us to anticipate the great Feast of Easter when God will conquer all our sins and bring his new and risen life here to earth.
Today, the Roman Catholic, the Anglican, even some Lutheran Churches still honor is this age-old liturgical celebration where flowers are even allowed in the sanctuary as a testament to new life in Christ. Priests might wear a “rose-colored” vestment symbolic of the rose flower and the “mothering” of the Church to all her faithful. You can see this clearly in how God speaks to us if you read the whole Chapter of Isaiah 66. On this day, Christians have finally historically visited their original church of Baptism where they were born of water and spirit in Christ, honoring how we have been nurtured in God!
This Fourth Sunday should be considered a day of more relaxation from our normal rigors of Lent. So (if you wish) consider easing up on your Lenten penance. I would encourage people to somehow make this Sunday different. Go out for breakfast after Mass today. Take a walk (weather permitting). Spend some time with a relative or friend. Do something to set this day apart from your normal routine. It’s a thought.
Today’s gospel is about the man born blind whom Jesus healed and gave him the gift of both sight and insight into God’s great love. Like the blind man who was healed, our Lenten journey of faith is also about opening our eyes to see the glory of God in all creation and trying to become more aware of Christ in our midst. May we all walk in the Light of God!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl