Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare/Rejoice Sunday)
Fourth Sunday of Lent – 2017 (Laetare/Rejoice Sunday)
Waooh!! It is “Laetare Sunday” already? Where have the days of the Lenten Season gone? I could recall my homily on the First Sunday of this year’s Lent, as we just had the Ash Wednesday a few days earlier, when I said to my congregation that Lenten Season has begun and that five days have gone already and it remained thirty five days to go. I reminded them that we could not afford to be idle, but active participants in the remaining days of lent so that we could benefit the fullness of it.
Fourth Sunday of Lent is always known as the Rejoice Sunday. But often goes by the Latin word, Laetare, which means Rejoice taken as usual from the introit of this Sunday. Why the Rejoice Sunday when we should be grieving about the upcoming passion of our Lord? The Rejoice here is not to forget about the penitential mood of the Lenten season. No, it is to invite us to begin to experience the glimpse of the glory of God which comes in a few weeks’ time; it is also a kind of to reenergize, to add power to acceleration with joyful anticipation for the resurrection of our Savior. In the readings of this Sunday, we are called to begin to appreciate what God is doing in our lives, especially when we consider that our ways are human and limited, but God’s way is divine and infinite. This means that the way we think is not the way God thinks, therefore, we must trust that God always has the best for us. The book of Prophet Samuel brings this point clearly when God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse so that he could anoint one of his sons a king. Both Samuel and Jesse exhibited our human limitations when they could not know who God really wanted to anoint King. Jesse assembled all the boys he had, but God rejected them and asked for the small, but handsome David, who was out in the bush fending for his rams and lambs. Nobody gave David a chance, otherwise, at least Jesse would have had him too in the midst of his brothers. Another good reason to agree that God ways are not our ways. The Lord said to Samuel, “There—anoint him, for this is the one!" Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.” In the second reading, Saint Paul reminds the Ephesians that no one who wishes to follow Christ can be in darkness, therefore, they should strive to live in the Light of Christ. “Therefore, it says: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Paul’s message is brought to a higher level in the Gospel of John, where Jesus gives this light to the blind man, born blind from birth. Jesus after the ritual of the sacramentals of the clay and saliva said to the blind man, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam" —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.”
We cannot but agree that the readings indeed resonated with the spirit of this Laetare/Rejoice Sunday, because the Scripture says, “Today salvation has come to those who dwell in darkness” – Jesus is Lord.