2 min read
04 Apr

Today we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter.

May your people exult for ever, O God, in renewed youthfulness of spirit, so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption, we may look forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

I’ve been trying to remember the last time I felt renewed in youthfulness of spirit. In the prayer, the youthful spirit is not spiritus, as in spiritual, instead, in the Latin form of the prayer, we find the word animae, or the rational soul or mind, more like an emotion. To have a renewed youthfulness of spirit is to be like a kid again.

It’s been a while since we’ve had young kids around, so maybe that’s why I have to think harder to remember what it’s like, but kids get so excited about so many things. We had such rejoicing when there was no school because of a snow day. If I go back to when my boys were very young, they were excited to push a plastic lawn mower around the yard as their dad finished mowing a patch of grass ahead of them. Even a plastic lawnmower can bring rejoicing.

When did we lose that feeling? Maybe it’s just changed and it takes more to make us feel excited again. I know that shopping does not do it for me, but going on a trip does. I also found that on Holy Saturday, the more I let go and entered into the mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, the more exciting it became. On Holy Saturday there was a lot of darkness, and as the light of Easter comes into the liturgy, it became exciting. One could only rejoice. Just thinking of how Jesus changed the world should make us feel like a kid again, too, except we aren’t just excited over a spring rain, or new grass, we are excited about the glory of our adoption.

I recently saw a video about a little boy who invited his whole kindergarten class to the courtroom to celebrate his adoption. The judge, lawyers, and the other adults in the room had never experienced anything like it. How could one not get caught up in the cheers, the smiles, and the rejoicing?

There is a lot of rejoicing in this prayer, too. The first rejoice is in the word exult. In the Latin form of the prayer we find the word exsultet, which means rejoice. We tell God that we will exult, or rejoice, like we’re kids again because, we are his kids again.

The next rejoice in the prayer tells us about our adoption: we weren’t just adopted, we were restored. Whenever I find the word restored in the prayers of the Missal, I immediately think back to the Garden of Eden. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the price paid for us to be restored after the fall of Adam and Eve. Sin no longer separates us from God, we are restored into a right relationship with Him.

Our next rejoice finds us looking forward in confident hope to the rejoicing of the day of Resurrection. It is interesting that the emphasis isn’t as much on the Resurrection as it is on the day of rejoicing. Our hope tells us that that day will be filled with rejoicing, but “what” sets that day apart is really a “who.” We will rejoice with the One who is the day of the Resurrection.

He is the One we rejoice with today and He is the one that we, with confident hope, will rejoice with for eternity. Our confident hope comes when we can look back and see the faithfulness of God in the past and know that that we can trust him in full hope for what is to come.

God promised Abraham that there would be a savior and He kept His promise. God promised to restore us to new life and He kept His promise.

If God promised it, rejoice. We belong to a Father who keeps his promises.

Thanks for praying with me,

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