Today we celebrate ‘Laetare’ Sunday, taken from the entrance antiphon which begins ‘Rejoice Jerusalem’. As we enter the half-way point of Lent, we have reason to rejoice.
Today’s readings offer reminders of another of the reasons we have to rejoice. The man born blind is sent to the pool of Siloam for his healing, much like our own baptism, received for the healing of our souls. And like David, we were anointed – not once but twice. First, in preparation for our baptism with the oil of catechumens, and secondly, after baptism with the sacred chrism. Like David and the blind man, we have been chosen by God – set apart.
One of the temptations of being set apart is to think that we’ve got it made. Having been chosen, we forget that we still need God.
Maybe this was the temptation that the Pharisee found themselves succumbing to. As part of the people of Israel, they too were chosen by God to be a people set apart, peculiarly God’s own. The temptation, however, was to forget that before God had chosen them, enslaved for 400 years. Without God, they might still be laboring in servitude. And like the Israelites, we too have been freed from slavery, from our bondage to sin.
The problem is that we let this fact fall to the back of our minds. We even toy with the same slavery, finding ourselves falling away from the freedom won by Christ because we don’t want to acknowledge our neediness.
Both David and the man born blind share the common fact that they presented themselves to receive God’s help & grace. In humility they received what the Lord had in store for them. How might we open our own relationship with God if we presented ourselves in humility to the Lord?
As we reach the crest of Lent (and begin the downhill approach to Triduum), we have an invitation to renew our relationship to God, to be reminded of our humility – and as a people of humility, to receive both the graces of this time of preparation and those of the coming Easter season. How might you re-present yourself to the Lord each day in the remaining weeks leading up to Easter?
your brother in Christ,