4th Sunday of Lent–Laetare Sunday

This Sunday marks a turning point in Lent–we only have about three weeks to go–and the liturgy today encourages us to \”hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come\”. Today the usual Lenten violet vestments may be replaced with rose colored ones–if your pastor is so inclined! 
In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul exhorts us, \”Live as children of light…Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.\” Lent is the time to throw off the works of darkness. In the darkness and sleepiness of sin, it is impossible to see clearly. We are called to expose our sinful ways to the light, for \”light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.\” By acknowledging sin, it loses its power over us, and we are free.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples (and us) that \”we have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day…while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.\” To prove his point, he heals the man born blind. This man becomes a disciple of Jesus. He boldly proclaims that Jesus has come from God to the Pharisees who question him relentlessly. However the Pharisees are themselves blinded by their preconceived notions of what God is, and they refuse to accept the miracle. Let us allow ourselves to be healed by Jesus, and, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said, \”Let us confess our blindness, our shortsightedness, and especially what the Bible calls the \”great transgression\”: pride.\” The Pharisees could not do this; let us be humble enough to do it today. Let us be \”light in the Lord\”!

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