Laetare Sunday of Lent: Watch the Mass here.
Due to the temporary suspension of all Masses and religious services in all Archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries since 3/14/20, St. Julia parish is offering video-taped recordings of Masses.
Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus wants to motivate each one of us to see the truth. After developing a relationship with Jesus, the blind man “sees” as someone very special. The Pharisees, due to the blindness caused by their ignorance, prejudice, and need for self-preservation, still remain blind. Presuppositions, prejudices, assumptions, and our needs can easily blind us to truth. We see what we want or need to see and not what is really there. In addition, our stubbornness continues to convince us that we are right and that our vision is perfect. Only God can complete the picture.
Look around at our world. So much of what is happening today is due to the reluctance of folks to allow themselves to be stretched and brought to see what is really there. Many react to what life presents to them more with the lenses of ignorance than lenses of clarity. The Gospel carries great transformative value. With it, God corrects our vision and replaces our limited sight with the fullness of his sight. God opens our eyes so that we can see that it is not about preserving what we have created but of living in the immensity and wonder of God’s kingdom.
Through a simple, loving relationship with God, we can break through the tethers of prejudice, eradicate fear, dispel the darkness of hatred and sin, discover freedom, live in peace, work for justice, be effective stewards of creation, assist the migrant and the immigrant, and safeguard our economic systems and policies so that they truly serve all of God’s children. What we see is often an artificial lie. Our truth is much bigger than what our limited sight believes it to be. Allow God to work in and through you. Do not be afraid. Be open and be humble enough to know that you need help. Many human beings are living with severe cataracts that produce sight that is at best blurred.
Are you one of them?
What does Laetare Sunday mean?
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called “Laetare” Sunday, which comes from the Latin meaning ‘rejoice.’ The 40 days of Lent are a time for solemnity and reflection according to Roman Catholic doctrine, but quite simply, the church recognized that people need a break from sorrow and the normal rigors of Lent. Therefore, as the midpoint of Lent, the Fourth Sunday was considered a day of relaxation, joy, and hope with Easter within sight. (Traditionally, weddings, which were otherwise banned during Lent, could be performed on this day.).
Celebrating Laetare Sunday also reminds us that, mid-way in our Lenten journey, it is a time to spiritually evaluate ourselves. Have we made better choices in our daily lives? Have we been Christ to others? In this strange time of the COVID 19 Virus and all of our needs to remain apart, keep the Lenten plans of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving alive. We need prayers for this virus to end, and for all who are sick, to get well. We are unexpectedly fasting from Mass and from gathering in meaningful ways. God may be calling us to give alms in a unique way—sharing what we have with our neighbors, especially our elderly neighbors.
Hopefully we will be able to gather together again very soon; meanwhile, everyone stay safe and healthy, and take care of one another. As you bring the light of Christ to others, rejoice!
Learn more about the roots and history of Laetare Sunday.