Lent Week 4 - Mercy
Being Attentive to God’s Mercy
Week 4: March 11, 2018
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as Laetare Sunday. The first word of the Entrance Antiphon is “Rejoice!” and laetare is the Latin word for rejoice. We rejoice because this week marks the midpoint of our Lenten observance. Purple vestments may be put aside and rose color vestments used in their place as an acknowledgement of reaching this point of our Lenten journey and preparation to celebrate the Easter Sacraments.
This Sunday the readings proclaimed are all about divine rescue. Human beings in serious trouble experience the abundance of God’s mercy and love. Our redemption, or salvation, is pure gift. In the first reading from Chronicles, a people in captivity learn the King will build God a house in Jerusalem and they will be free to return to their native land. The second reading reminds us that we are God’s “handiwork,” a word which, in the original Greek, means “a thing made beautifully.” In the Gospel passage, Jesus is engaged in conversation with Nicodemus and talks about two things: the necessity of the Son of Man being lifted up so all who believe in him will have eternal life; and the need to live, not in darkness, but in the light and truth of the Son of God.
Renewal of our baptismal promises takes place during the Eater Vigil and all of the Masses celebrated on Easter Sunday. Our baptismal promises call us to live in relationship with the Trinity and to reject all that is evil. As we move closer to Easter, what in your relationship with the Trinity needs to be renewed? What force(s) of evil do you need to reject?
Recall the persons or experiences that have taught you about your own powerlessness and need for God.
Think about those who are confined or oppressed in our country and world. Learn more about human trafficking and how the Church works to end it and minister to those who have suffered from its evils.
Prayer of Gratitude
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits and blessings which you have given me, for all the pains and insults which you have borne for me. Merciful Friend, Brother and Redeemer, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.
~Saint Richard of Chichester (1198-1253)
Witness to God’s mercy by forgiving someone who has offended you.
Acknowledge God’s handiwork in another person by complimenting them.
Share the Light of Christ by getting involved in your parish outreach efforts for those in need.