This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 4th Sunday of Lent. The prayer this week has an air of joyfulness in it, because it is Laetare Sunday. In Latin, the first word of the entrance antiphon is Laetare or rejoice. The prayer bring a mood of hope and rejoicing that Easter is near.
O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. 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.
This prayer has a lot to look at!
The capitol W in “Word” tells us that this word is a person and through that person, Jesus Christ, God reconciled the human race to himself, not by writing a check or wishing us well, but by the sacrifice of his son. There’s one phrase I listen closely for at Easter Vigil, and that is, “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” It is the suffering that Jesus endured and his resurrection from the dead that is the wonderful way we have been reconciled to the Father.
“Solemn celebrations” seems a bit contradictory, but they refer to the solemnities we anticipate during Holy Week.
It is “prompt devotion and eager faith” that have been on my mind this week. Devotion means a self-sacrifice, a personal investment. Faith means trust, reliance, a total investment. Prompt devotion and eager faith make the disciples of Jesus Christ all-in with their mind, heart.
I was thinking about what eager faith looked like. The best example I could think of was Peter. Peter dropped his fisherman’s nets, he left what he was to follow Jesus. His eager faith showed up strong in one sentence: “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” No one else offered to jump out of the boat and walk on water.
It’s the same devotion and eager faith that we need to bring with us as we finish our Lenten season. We don’t just leave it in Lent, it should strengthen in Lent.
This week as we Lectio the Liturgy: Review your Lenten practices. If you need to renew them, now’s the time. If you need to review and change them, it’s OK. Make sure that your Lenten practices are directed towards increasing in devotion and faith. Be all-in for God.
Thank you for praying with me!