Laetare Sunday and Mother’s Day
Laetare or Rejoice Sunday
During the season of Lent purple vestments are worn by the priest. Purple is seen in church terms as a colour of penance and sorrow. However the fourth Sunday we take a break from the fasting and reflection associated with the season of Lent. In a time when people fast at least each Friday and perhaps each day we deserve a ‘little break’.
The words of the Entrance Antiphon “Rejoice Jerusalem…… Be joyful, all who were in mourning” have an element of joy and happiness. In latin “Laetare” translates as “Rejoice”, the first word of the antiphon sets the scene for this Sunday.
In many churches rose coloured vestments are worn, flowers can adorn the altar and the organ can be played with gusto. The rose coloured vestments tradition came from the ancient papal tradition of blessing golden roses which were sent to Catholic heads of state in Europe on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The idea of this day of rejoicing was to give people a glimmer of hope in a dark and difficult season and encourage us as we move towards Easter.
Some traditions associated with this day are: as well as attending Sunday Mass, families gathered for lunch with roses on the table or perhaps planting a rose bush or visiting the ‘Mother church’. For some this was seen as the church where one was baptised or even to mark Mother’s Day by visiting the church where mam was baptised.
Fourth Sunday of Lent Reflection
Time flies! We are already stepping into the second half of the Lenten season!
Let us continue to pray, fast and give alms to glorify and praise our Lord!
We are reminded us once again that God loves us so deeply that He hopes we will follow the true light of His beloved Son. Therefore, my dear friends, let us thank the Lord for His kindness and pray that He will continue to enhance our spiritual eyesight.
God is very happy that we live in His love and enjoy His grace. However, he also understands our weakness: in fact, the most pleasing gift to Him is our contrite hearts! Are we pleasing God so far in this Lenten season?
The good news is that if we choose to follow Christ and His light, then we will be able to walk towards eternal life.
May the holy light of Christ lead us all to everlasting life!
Our Lady, help of Christians! Pray for us!
On this Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. This year for many of us, we have been unable to make regular contact with our mothers or children and we feel all the sadder for it. Perhaps we even had the funeral of our mother with limited family contact or presence for the occasion. Christmas, birthdays, the weekly visits and trips to the shops have been greatly restricted because of the pandemic yet there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Today on Mother’s Day as we remember them, past or present, we draw strength from Mary the mother of Jesus and our mother on this special day.
A Mother’s Day Prayer
I [we] thank you, Creator of us all, for my [our] mother[s].
I thank you that she gave me life and nurtured me all those years. She gave me my faith, helping me to know you and to know Jesus and his ways.
She taught me how to love and how to sacrifice for others. She taught me that it was okay to cry and that I should always tell the truth.
Bless her with the graces she needs and which you want to give her today. Help her to feel precious in your eyes today and to know that I love her. Give her strength and courage, compassion and peace.
Bless her this day with your love.
Many different songs and hymns to remember our mothers. Here is a song in praise of mama…
or perhaps a better known song by Celine Dion called “A Mother’s Prayer”
Lent is a time to think of others
Times are difficult for everyone at the moment particularly the most vulnerable people in the world. This week perhaps we can help the Lenten Campaign of Trocaire. Trocaire is the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which facilitates. our commitment to the needs of the Third World.
Readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Second Book of Chronicles, 36: 14-16, 19-23.
Reflection: This reading paints a shameful picture of God’s people repeatedly piling up one sin upon another. No matter how many messengers he sends them, they refuse to hear God’s call to repentance. Like a parent who has run out of ways to discipline his or her children, God has “no remedy.” So he allows them to be defeated by their enemies and taken into exile for seventy years. Only after they repent sincerely does God free his people through Cyrus, king of Persia. And Cyrus orders them to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem to “fulfill the word of the Lord.”
Second Reading: St Paul to the Ephesians 2: 4-10.
Reflection: The second reading begins with the reassuring truth that “God is rich in mercy.” We know God is merciful because, despite our sinfulness, he brought us to life in Christ. We have not earned our salvation. It is Jesus’ gift to us.
Gospel: John 3: 14-21
Reflection: In teaching Nicodemus, Jesus uses a familiar story from the Old Testament (Numbers 21:4-9) about Moses. When Moses lifted up a bronze snake in the desert for all to see, those who had been bitten by snakes were healed. Jesus says that he too must be lifted up so that all might have eternal life through him. He will be lifted up on the cross. But he will also be lifted up in his resurrection and in his ascension to the Father. Whoever looks at him in faith will receive eternal life.
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Discussion Questions for 1st Reading
What are some signs that people are truly repentant? How can you express sorrow for your sins during Lent? How would you like to repair or rebuild any relationships in your family, workplace/school, or parish?
Discussion Questions for 2nd Reading
How would you most like to have your family, workplace/school, or parish join together in doing one meaningful good deed during Lent? What actions can you take toward that goal?
Discussion Questions for Gospel
How do members of your family, workplace/school, and parish show that they are living in the light? What can we do to help others choose to live more fully in the light?
During Lent the tradition of praying the Stations of the Cross is regularly done on Fridays and other days as a lenten exercise. With this being Mother’s Day here is a reflection that may be used with reflections from Mary the mother of Jesus’ point of view.
During this week we will celebrate the feast of St. Patrick our National Saint and St. Joseph the Husband of Mary. Next weekend we will have reflections on these two great Apostles of Faith.
May you have a blessed week.
From all of us in Our Mother of Divine Grace parish, Ballygall.