Have you heard that name before? The fourth Sunday of Lent celebrates the half way mark of our Lenten journey. The name comes from the introit of the Mass for this day, the very first words: Rejoice, O Jerusalem! In Latin; Laetare, O Jerusalem! The actual middle of Lent falls on the Thursday before Laetare Sunday, but like many celebrations in the Church it was moved to Sunday, perhaps so that the faithful could celebrate in larger numbers at the Sunday Eucharist. Why are we as a Church rejoicing in the middle of the penitential season of Lent? As a Church we rejoice in an effort to encourage us, the faithful, on our course as we draw closer to Jesus Christ. Further, we are moving toward a deeper understanding that this journey, this plan for our salvation, is gifted to us by our merciful and loving God. As we come to understand the story of our salvation through Jesus Christ we reach a great milestone in our personal and communal faith journey and that is certainly worth celebrating and rejoicing.
So how are you doing on this journey through Lent?
· Have you been able to spend increased time in silence, in prayer?
· Have you given thought to what you may need to address in your life that you might draw closer to Jesus?
·What do you struggle with most in life?
·What needs might you bring to the Lord in prayer?
We all need to be encouraged to communicate more often with God, to turn to him with our needs, admit our weaknesses and then to rest in his embrace as we feel his love. In doing so we are strengthened to be witnesses to that love in the world. We see clearly the need to reach out to the poor, to show love and kindness to one another which in turn gifts us with a desire to grow in love with and see the beauty of every person.
Let us pray that we stay strong in our resolve to grow closer to Jesus as together we approach the Paschal Mystery and his Resurrection from the dead, when we can truly appreciate the word Laetare! Rejoice! When we can once again rejoice in the promise and the gift of our salvation.
May God continue to bless our journey.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC