March 6, 2016
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 33 (NAB Translation)
The fourth Sunday of Lent is known at Laetare Sunday when we lighten the violet just a little to the shade of rose and celebrate that we are now only 3 weeks away from Easter. We are past the halfway mark, and we can see the end in sight.
Joshua 5:9A, 10-12
This week’s first reading from Joshua is a mark of transition away from the time of manna in the desert. God shows his providence and care by providing the bread from heaven while they are unable to eat anything else. Then, once they were able to eat from the crops of Canaan, God continued to provide for them in their food, but now it was in a more traditional way.
Even in the most difficult times, we can count on the Lord to provide for us. Sometimes Lent isn’t easy and we want to give up, but in our suffering, however small, we can grow more united to the cross of Christ.
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
- (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
This week’s second reading we continue in St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Here, he marks a distinct sign of our baptism, that we are make into a new person by the waters of Salvation. If we truly want to live and His children, then it requires a death to the old self. In this time of Lent, we experience little deaths in offering our various sacrifices. In those small ways we neglect our personal desires, we grow in virtue and our relationship with Jesus. It’s easy to be tempted to give them up this far into lent, but the Lord will provide strength if we ask.
Verse Before The Gospel Luke 15:18
I will get up and go to my Father and shall say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
This week’s Gospel from St Luke is the famous story of the prodigal son. Jesus has lessons for those of us that do not trust in His Divine Mercy for all, and those of us that don’t trust in His Divine Mercy for us. In this Jubilee of Mercy and Lent, we have an opportunity to grow deeper in trust that we are worthy of His love and forgiveness, and so is every other soul. We just have to convince ourselves and other about that.
Gospel meditation from Bishop Vásquez
In this Sunday’s Gospel, both sons have misunderstood their father’s limitless love for them. The younger son believes that love means allowing him the freedom to do as he pleases. The elder son believes that he must earn the father’s love by being dutiful. But, the father demonstrates that he loves them equally. In this Year of Mercy, we must realize that we need God’s forgiveness. Let us use this time of Lent to re-encounter the Lord who reveals the loving embrace of his Father.