Fourth Sunday of Lent
Dear parish family and friends of St. Julia,
This Sunday at Mass we celebrate Laetare Sunday. The Latin word Laetare means ‘rejoice’ and its origin is rooted in the Introit (opening chant) for the Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Jerusalem: “Rejoice, O Jerusalem and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.”
Laetare Sunday marks the midpoint of Lent and the rose-coloured vestments that I will be wearing at Mass give us a glimpse at the light of the end of the 40-day tunnel of penance. Yes, Lent is a penitential season. It is a time that we allow the spot light to shine in on our hearts, looking at the nooks and crannies to see what needs to be pushed out, that is sin, in order to fully allow Christ to enter our hearts at Easter, with the new Easter light, the true light of Christ. This is what this Sunday is all about. Lent is not all about being somber. This Sunday we are called to rejoice in the reality of Easter – the promise of Easter – the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
At this midpoint I ask myself the question, “How has my season of Lent been going?” I ask you the same question. If you can say it has been a good season and that you have experienced God’s graces and blessings, that you feel closer to Christ, that you have experienced spiritual renewal, then thanks be to God! If you say it has been a little rough, that your Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving have fallen short of what you set out to embrace at the beginning of the journey, fear not. We are at the midpoint. Consider this a reboot, a new start. Rejoice in the fact that our God is a God of second chances and fresh starts. That is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. Make the most of these next three weeks by striving to realign your heart with the heart of Christ, returning to Christ through prayer, and take the time for your spiritual renewal. Remember that Christ fell three times carrying the cross. Now we too get back up, as people of hope.
That is what we must remember at this moment. Last year on this Sunday I wrote "We may think how can I even utter the words rejoice at this moment in time with all that is taking place in Ukraine?" Now, over a year later, this war continues. Once again I write that it is our faith that we turn to for strength. We unite ourselves in prayer with our sisters and brothers of Ukraine. We place our trust in God, for it was Christ who conquered sin and death by rising from the dead. For that and so many more reasons, we remain people of hope.
May God bless each of you and those that you love, and I look forward to seeing you at mass this weekend on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
From Our Pastor