Skip to main content
BulletinsGospel ReflectionsLetters from Father

March 10, 2024 Bulletin & News

By March 13, 2024No Comments

Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.”

The verse above (Isaiah 66:10) is not found in any of our readings this Sunday, but it is the entrance antiphon, the verse traditionally used in place of a hymn at the procession to the altar at the beginning of the Holy Mass. From the first words of this verse in Latin, the Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare (rejoice) Sunday.

All the readings this Sunday speak about our reason for rejoicing: God’s merciful love for his people. In the Letter to the Ephesians, we hear that in order to reveal in the future the immeasurable riches of his gifts and goodness toward us in Jesus, God, who is rich in mercy, brought us to life and raised us up with Christ because of the love that he had for us when we were dead in sins. My translation rearranges some of the clauses in the long sentence of Ephesians 2:4, but they add specifics to the central truth: God saves sinners through Jesus because of his love for us.

This salvation is purely a gift from God. One of the ways that our faith has always expressed the gratuitous nature of salvation is by baptizing infant children. Many Christians in the modern world reject this practice, but so also did many in the ancient world. The central objection is that an infant child cannot express faith in Jesus, but the Church’s understanding of Baptism is that it gives us faith in Jesus, a faith “not from works, so that no one may boast. We are [God’s] handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the works that God has prepared in advance that we should live in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The Gospel passage used for the scrutiny of catechumens this Sunday is the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). This sign that Jesus did was not preceded by a dialogue or profession of faith; the man obeyed what Jesus told him to do and then received the full light of faith when his eyes were opened and became a witness to Jesus. For each of us, faith was first given as a gift because God loves us. As we prepare to renew the promises of our Baptism in 21 days, this season of Lent reminds us that the life we live now in Christ Jesus is God’s immeasurable gift that he gives us freely and invites us to respond freely.

-Fr. Nate

San Pedro Comms

Author San Pedro Comms

More posts by San Pedro Comms