Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent and it is also known as the Laetare Sunday. A Sunday within the Sundays of Lent with a unique character. This stems from the fact that this Sunday is referred to as the rejoice Sunday, a little shift from the austere period of Lent. This name is gotten from the entrance antiphon at mass for this Sunday; rejoice Jerusalem. The Alter can be adorned with some flowers and also the priests can make use of rose colour vestment, unlike in the other Sundays of Lent.
In the 1st reading from the 1st Book of Samuel, we are presented with the choosing and anointing of David as the King of Israel. There are a lot of lessons for us to learn from the 1st reading. The first lesson is the fact that our human ways are quite different from the ways of God. We see this clearly in the selection of David by God as the King of Israel. Jesse the father of David, did not believe that God will leave his seven sons and go for David who was the last; probably that is why he did not tell Samuel himself that there was one son left, until Samuel made enquiry. The standard for selection by God, goes beyond appearance to the heart. While our human standards are often times influenced by appearances and what we see.
Another important lesson from the 1st reading of this Sunday, is the fact that no man has the power to deny us what God has destined for us. Sometimes there could be delays; but never denial. The household of Jesse had to wait until David arrived and was anointed. This goes to show us that the blessings of God that is our own will always locate us wherever we are; it may take time, but it will surely happen. Try to remain steadfast and never despair, God never disappoints those who trust in him; he is ever faithful. In our relationship with God, we must learn to wait on the Lord by being patient. The most important thing is, whether it is the will of God for you at that point in time. If the answer is yes, then just trust God and continue to pray; it will be fulfilled at Gods own time.
If we can live our lives based on trusting in God in every situation we find ourselves in life, we will be simply affirming the response to our psalm for this Sunday. It says “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want”. It means absolute trust in God at all times, no matter the difficulties or challenges involved. By so doing, making the assertions of St. Paul in today’s 2nd reading more meaningful to us. He reminds the Ephesians of the fact that they are children of the light; because they are children of God. In the same way, he is also telling you and me the same thing. Thus, our deeds should be that of light and no longer darkness. This is because Jesus has ransomed us all with his blood by bringing us out of darkness into his own wonderful light. It is now our duty to ensure that we remain in the light of God; through our words and actions. Like the 1st reading tells us, “the fruit of light is found in all that is good, right and true”. This brings us to a very important question, are your deeds of the light? Can you proudly own your deeds wherever you find yourself? This is very important, especially during this season of God’s grace.
In the gospel from St John, we are presented with the story of the man that was born blind. This gave rise to a very important question, who is responsible for the man’s blindness, is it the sins of the parents or that of the man? Jesus answered by saying that, it is not the sins of the parents nor of the man, but that Gods work would be made manifest in his life. The answer given by Jesus may help us to resolve some challenges that we face sometimes in our life. It is not everything that happens to us that should be connected to evil. There are some cases that has nothing to do with evil manipulations. Jesus is still going about in our own time, restoring people to good health. Even during this time of Corona virus, he is still capable of doing it for us.
Interestingly, instead of celebrating with the blind man whose sight Jesus has restored, the Pharisees where more concerned that Jesus has broken the law of Sabbath. The question is, are we any different from the Pharisees? If yes, thanks be to God and if no, let us retrace our steps and go back to God. Then, our light will continue to shine like true children of God that we are called to be.
It is my prayer that God will grant us the grace to be true ambassadors of Christ, wherever we find ourselves. Peace be with you. Amen.