The 4th Sunday of Lent is Laetare Sunday. Laetare means rejoice in Latin. You see, we are just past the halfway point of Lent, so we begin to anticipate that Easter joy a bit more. Here in the northern hemisphere, our days are getting longer…which I LOVE! We will bump our clocks ahead one hour Saturday night (which I hate) and spring will likely start to show up a bit more. My daffodils are getting ready to bloom!
The psalm for Sunday’s Mass was Psalm 34…one of my favorites. (Yes, I know. I have lots of favorites!) Many people recognize the verse “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” Because this psalm comes up often in the Lectionary, I have sung numerous settings. One such setting had a slightly different text than what you see to the left:
Look to Him, that you might be radiant with joy, and your faces free from all shame.
In my old age, I’m not that fond of adaptations to the text for Mass, but this one speaks to me. Be radiant with parliamentarily JOY. Lent can feel like such a downer. Sacrifices can be tough, and even make us cranky (ask me how I know.) So often when we are stuck in sinful patterns, we hide our face from God and from those we have hurt. We can’t look loved ones in the eyes when we realize we are in the wrong. But if we acknowledge our sins and look to God, we will be radiant…with JOY…and no longer ashamed! His goodness changes us inside and out!
There are many steps we can each take to find this joy, to be freed from shame. Repentance is the place to start. I have been reflecting on that quite a bit this week. There are some people I need to reconcile with if I am truly going to reconcile more fully with God. It’s not likely that all of this will be “done” by Easter, but even recognizing that I need to start gives me hope. I pray you have that sense of hope, too!
This post is part of the Blessed is She Lenten Link up. Find more #BISLent posts Here.