4th Sunday of Lent (c)
Season of Lent
Sunday 6th March: 4th Sunday of Lent (c).
Traditionally, the fourth Sunday of Lent has been called ‘Laetare’ Sunday. It means ‘joyful’ Sunday and occurs at the half way mark of the Lenten journey.
The first reading is from the Book of Joshua. The people of Israel are called by God to celebrate their new life in the Promised Land.
The second reading is from the second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. St. Paul reminds us that we are a new creation, we are all called to be ambassadors for Christ.
The Gospel passage, from St. Luke, presents us with the parable of the Prodigal Son. It shows us how God’s love always forgives, is always prepared to give us the chance of a new beginning, however sinful we have been.
Monday 7th March: Monday of fourth week of Lent.
For people who believe, the golden age lies in the future, not in the past, says the Prophet Isaiah. For the believer there is a new world to be built as a sign of the new heaven. The building up of this new world begins seriously in Christ. His word renews people. Faith in him brings life and healing, something to live for.
Tuesday 8th March: Tuesday in the 4th week of Lent.
Water flows from the temple and turns the land into a fertile paradise bringing health and life we hear in the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel. This living temple is Christ, says John in the Gospel. Encountering him brings forgiveness health and life.
Wednesday 9th March: Wednesday in the 4th week of Lent.
When Jesus is questioned and attacked for curing a paralyzed man on the Sabbath, he uses the opportunity to remind the people that the work of redemption on which he is embarked with the Father, is ongoing, even on the Sabbath. He is the sign of God’s love for his people and wants us to live in that love. With Jesus, we have to seek the Father’s will for own lives.
Thursday 10th March: Feast of St. John Ogilvie.
John Ogilvie was born near Keith and was brought up as a Calvinist. After being received into the Catholic Church, he became a Jesuit priest. He worked in Edinburgh and Glasgow, often underground for fear of his safety, bringing many to a knowledge of the Catholic faith. He was eventually betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and hanged in Glasgow in 1615.
Friday 11th March: Friday in the 4th week of Lent.
People who claim to know God a bit and to live consistently as his sons and daughters are seen as bothersome or eccentric to unbelievers as well as to those who take their religion as a set of duties or religious rites to be observed. Their way of life disturbs and challenges the established and comfortable ways of society. The unbeliever wants to test the faith of such people. The person who voices his concerns about this in the Book of Wisdom is one such person. Jesus was another. Where do we fit in?
Saturday 12th March: Saturday in the 4th week of Lent.
It is hard for someone who as Jeremiah says ‘ has been seduced by God’ to feel rejected by the very community to which they have dedicated their life and work. Such a person is seen as a source of division. This is how some saw Jesus. Are we prepared to pay the cost of discipleship to follow him even if that cost involves ridicule, contradiction even suffering.
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness
Give us Your presence,
Your love and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power
So that nothing may frighten or worry us
For, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.