Sunday, March 14, 2010
Laetare Sunday is our oasis in the midst of Lent, even as Jesus fed the 5000 in the wilderness, in today's Gospel.
Jesus' gentle treatment of his slow-to-learn disciples is on display here; he does not chide or rebuke them for failing his little test; he just shows them again, by feeding the multitude in the multiplication of loaves. So does he treat us in our weakness; he bears with us and helps us in our need.
He shepherds us even as he shepherded the multitudes, saying "Make the men sit down," for "there was much grass in that place," as it is written, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." As he sustained them all, so does he sustain us in our trek through the wilderness of life on earth.
But abiding joy governs the hearts of the faithful, even in the midst of this life, as in the midst of Lent stands Laetare Sunday.
It has also been called Rose Sunday, and in some churches there are rose colored paraments today. And just as a rose, the queen of all flowers, has thorns, so do joy and sorrow find themselves close together. But joy prevails, as does our anticipation of Easter during the midst of Lent; and ultimately our anticipation of the Day of days, when all sorrow shall fly away.