Rejoice, O Jerusalem!
This Sunday is named Laetare Sunday and it marks the halfway point of our journey with Jesus to the Cross. Laetare is a Latin word meaning, “Rejoice” and we heard in the Collect or Opening Prayer prayed by the priest, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem”. Originally this celebration of joy in Lent was on the Thursday previous to the Fourth Sunday of Lent as that is the actual halfway mark, however, as with Ascension Thursday, it was moved to the following Sunday. So today we join the Church in rejoicing as we have completed one half of the Lenten Season.
So how are you doing with your personal commitment to Lent? Had you given thought to what you would be doing or not doing during the 40 days “in the desert”? Do you feel that you have been true to your intentions or are you struggling to carrying them out? Many of us struggle to stay focused during the six weeks of Lent. It seems that the routine of our everyday lives simply carries us, like riding a wave. We need to be intentional about Lenten practices, for doing so will draw us closer to Jesus and will allow us opportunity to appreciate the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross.
We continue to hear in the Scripture proclaimed at Mass wonderful stories of Jesus interacting with the people of his time; always teaching, always loving, always healing and forgiving. This week we again hear the story of the man born blind and the miracle of Jesus restoring his sight. In that account we might ask ourselves what we are blind to in our lives? Might we be blind to how our words or actions often hurt others? Are we blind to the need to spend quality time with our families? Are we blind to how long it has been since we held our child, our teenager or our spouse in a loving embrace? Could it be that we refuse to see the plight of the immigrant in any way but negative? What about those who stand on the corner asking for handouts? Do we choose to be blind to them or the poor they represent? Or perhaps we are blind to the fact that we have not yet fully entered into any kind of Lenten practice.
There is still time. God is always there waiting for you to draw closer to him. Take time this week to assess how you see or do not see the needs of others and how you have or have not made a commitment to your Lenten journey. Let us pray that we might come to realize the presence of Jesus, within us and in every person with whom we share life.
Blessings and peace,