Mother Teresa (of Calcutta, +1997) says, “Joy is a net of love by which we catch
souls”. May her words echo in a special way this coming Sunday, which is known to
many as Laetare Sunday. Laetare Sunday, always the fourth, or middle, Sunday of
Lent is so called from the first words of the Introit (opening verse) at Mass,
“Laetare Jerusalem” (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”). It is sometimes called Rose Sunday
(referring to the color for the day).
On this day, the vestments are indeed rose in color. Rose includes the violet of penance
and the white of Easter, of the victory of divine love. In this, rose captures the “not yet
and already” of our Christian pilgrimage. We are on a journey, and have not fully arrived
at our destination, which is perfect oneness with God in love. And, yet, we are held by
God already, in love. Another (Saint) Thérèse (of Lisieux, +1897) expresses this
unbelievably well in her autobiography, Story of a Soul. She so believes in the already
that, when asked about Heaven, she responds, “I do not know what more I could
have in Heaven, except that I shall see God. As for being with Him, I am always
that, even here on earth.”
Our life as disciples of Christ is a life of joy—not bubbly emotional joy, but deep, quiet
joy—the joy of God. Such joy is ours for the experiencing, even in the midst of great
challenge. But it must be shared. Do we share the joy of God with those around us?
As we continue our Lenten journey, let us hold onto the One Who holds us, bearing in
mind the words of St. Augustine (+430):
In the house of God there is never ending festival; the angel choir makes
eternal holiday; the presence of God's face gives joy that never fails.
Yours in the joy of God,