We come to the midway point of Lent on this Laetare (“rejoice”) Sunday. And what rejoicing do we have today in our readings! Having squandered all he had, the prodigal son finds a banquet prepared for him in his honor. After wandering the desert for forty years, the Israelites finally feast upon the produce of the land promised by God. Taste and see how good our God truly is!
Rather than just a rest stop along the way, this Fourth Sunday of Lent shows us what the road to conversion is made of: joy! For penitence is not meant to be a gloomy punishment. It is not time to wallow in our sins. Nor should it lead us to resentment like the older brother had at the lavish welcome his wayward sibling received.When joy and gladness mark our hearts even as we repent, we focus our gaze not on ourselves but squarely upon God who does not hold our trespasses against us. Click To Tweet
Repentance is an invitation to be embraced by God’s mercy and delight at our return. When joy and gladness mark our hearts even as we repent, we focus our gaze not on ourselves but squarely upon God who does not hold our trespasses against us.
Next time you sing, “Lord, have mercy,” or cry out, “Christe eleison!” remember that they are not laments. They are songs of praise that should ever be in our mouths.