March 30, 2014

Laetare Sunday

March 30, 2014:  4th Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday

Readings
  • 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a  Lord to Samuel:  “I'm sending you to Jesse; I've chosen my king from his sons.”  Samuel thought he was among the seven presented to him, but the Lord said no:  “Man sees appearance, but God looks in the heart.”  Jesse brought David; God told Samuel to anoint him.
    Wordle: Readings 3-30-14
  • Ps 23:1-6  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  You lead and guide me and give me rest and courage.  You're at my side; I'm unafraid.  You spread the table before me and anoint me.  Goodness and kindness follow me, and I'll dwell with God.
  • Eph 5:8-14  You were once darkness but are now light in the Lord.  Live as children of light; learn what pleases God and expose works of darkness.  “Awake, sleeper; Christ will give you light.”
  • Jn 9:1-41  Jesus restored sight to man born blind who told those who first asked, then the Pharisees, who were divided about how Jesus who didn't keep sabbath could heal him.  The Jews summoned his parents who confirmed he was born blind, then called the man again, heard him speak of Jesus, and expelled him.  Jesus found the man:  "Do you believe in the Son of Man, the one speaking with you?" / “I do, Lord.”...  Pharisees / Jesus:  "You think we're blind?" / "You say, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains."
Pope Francis
  • Angelus:  The man blind from birth whose sight is restored is like those who supposedly have sight but continue to remain blind in their soul.  The blind man approaches the Light, but the Pharisees slip deeper into blindness, believing they already have the light, denying the evidence, and not accepting the truth of Jesus.  We can be like the blind man but unfortunately also like the Pharisees who judged him; we're invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ to bear fruit, to eliminate unchristian behavior, to walk on the path of holiness.  Is my heart open to God and others? 
  • To blind and deaf missions on “Witnesses of the Gospel for a culture of encounter”: “Encounter” presupposes encounter with Christ; one who knows him becomes his witness.  When the Samaritan woman met and spoke with Jesus, her life changed:   ‘Come, see this man....  Could he be the Messiah?’”  Jesus made disciples of the marginalized, excluded, and despised like her, think of the sick and disabled Jesus met and restored to full dignity.  Become witnesses to a new attitude, a culture of encounter, vs. the culture of exclusion of the Pharisees who called Jesus and those he healed sinners and believed disability to be God’s will.  The sick or disabled, starting from fragility and limitations, can witness to encounter with Jesus, which opens to life and faith, and encounter with community.
Reflections
    • Creighton:  Today falls in the middle of the Scrutinies; Jesus is water, light, and life.  The gospel is a chiasm, trials sandwiched between Jesus-and-the-man episodes.  The man didn't ask to be healed but responds faithfully.  Truth is spoken (or at least not denied) in 'trials' with:
      • Neighbors, where he's not believed
      • Pharisees, who know nobody from God heals on the sabbath
      • Parents who confirm he was born blind
      • Pharisees who insist he's a sinner and expel him
    The man teaches us:  don't deny healing, speak truth under pressure, and believe and affirm experience of Jesus.  Where was Jesus in the middle?  In the man, who said "I am" (as only Jesus did in John's gospel) and underwent trials like Jesus would.  When we accept Jesus, we'll have trials like Jesus did.  In the Scrutinies we invite candidates to be faithful under 'trial,' in our community, and to support us doing so.  Am I faithful when "alone" and "on trial"?  Give Christ—water, light, and life—to a world needing him.
      Jesus Opens the Eyes of a Man Born Blind/ Duccio
    • One Bread One Body:  People can know they're blind and turn to Jesus for sight, or be blind to their blindness.  We're born blind in original sin, receive sight in baptism, and lose sight through sin, and can turn to Jesus again for sight.
    • Passionist:  We may be blinded by prejudice, a sense of self-importance, unforgiveness, fear, or self-pity; we may not see God in creation, the poor, or ourselves.  Lord, remove our blindness; give us eyes of wonder, courage, compassion, hope, and wisdom.
    Music (5/9: for today's St. Bede 5:30pm/9am Mass)
    Apparel


    • Angel with horn:  "fill your horn with oil" (1st reading)
    • Tie with crowns:  David anointed king (1st reading)
    • "Hearts" suspenders:  the Lord looks into the heart (1st reading)
    • "Sheep" tie bar:  David was tending sheep (1st reading); the Lord is my Shepherd (psalm)
    • "Castle" pin:  I'll dwell in God's house (psalm)
    • "Eyeball" tie pin:  blind man's sight restored (gospel)
    • "Question mark" tie pin:  Pharisees' questioning of man born blind and his parents (gospel)
    • "Roses" pin, rose shirt:  color of Laetare Sunday

      Dress your life!