March 15, 2021
Each day during Lent, I am highlighting a Lenten Word (or phrase) of the Day from the readings of the day. I encourage you to reflect on this word or phrase and incorporate it in your prayers today.
“I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people. No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying…” (from Isaiah 65:17-21)
REJOICE: Wait…it’s Lent. Shouldn’t all of the words upon which we reflect during the Lenten season be somber and penitential? While we do want to take time to reflect on our brokenness and need for God’s mercy, we also reflect upon his love, compassion, and grace. Today is even more special – we take time to REJOICE!
Today we have ‘overflow’ from yesterday’s Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent) celebration. Laetare is the Latin word for rejoice. On this Sunday, we look with expectation to the great Solemnity of Easter for which we have been preparing ourselves as a Church during the Lenten season. By its anticipation of the joy of Easter, Laetare Sunday is meant to give us hope and encouragement as we slowly progress towards the Paschal Feast.
You may have noticed Fr. Jim and I, or your home parish clergy, wearing rose-colored vestments at Mass yesterday. The color rose is used as a sign of the joy which characterizes Laetare Sunday.
Today we take a break from reflecting on your own sinfulness. Instead, with hopeful anticipation, we reflect on the joy of Easter. On that day, the tomb will be empty! Jesus will fulfill his promise to rise again and that gives us hope. He suffered, died, and rose again – for us!
So today, rejoice!