The 4th Sunday of Lent is also known as “Laetare Sunday” which means “Rejoice” because we are half way through the Season of Lent. This Sunday sets a tone of joyful anticipation for the Easter mystery and rose-colored vestments are permitted, musical instruments may be played at mass and the altar may be decorated with some flowers.
But the readings this Sunday speak of blindness and sight as God sees not man. The first reading tells the story of the choice of young David, a shepherd, as the King of all of Israel. This did not make sense to Jesse as his older sons seemed to be the better choice. But the Lord tells Jesse through the prophet Samuel, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart.”
The second reading from Ephesians states, “You were once in darkness but now you are light in the Lord.” Without Christ we are in darkness and cannot see. With Him we can see clearly and we are to become light. This looks forward to the Sacrament of Baptism at the Easter Vigil and to the renewing of Baptismal promises at Easter by all the faithful.
And in the Gospel is the story of the healing of the man born blind. Jesus, the Light of the World, touches the eyes of the man and he can see for the first time in his life!
As disciples of Christ, we are called to allow Jesus the Light to touch us over and over again so that we are cured of our blindness of prejudice, judgement, selfishness, materialism and so on. With His light in us we will be able to see not as man sees but as God sees.
Rejoice! The celebration of the Risen Lord is coming soon. You are the light, show it to the world!