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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) 2024

This week's homily is brought to you today by the letter 'L'!

For years, I confused Laetare Sunday with Gaudete Sunday. They’re both very similar.  They both call us to be joyful.  They both come in the middle of a penitential season either Advent or Lent.  On both days we set aside the purple vestments and wear the rose colored ones instead.  

So, which one is in Advent and which one is in Lent?

A few years ago I learned a simple trick to help me remember which one is which: "L is for Lent and Laetare”.  

This little trick not only cleared my confusion but also opened a deeper reflection on what Laetare Sunday truly signifies—  L is also for Light, Love, and Life.

Light: In the shadows of our penance and reflection, today stands out as a day illuminated by Christ's light. Jesus, in our Gospel, declares that He is the light come into the world, inviting us to leave behind the darkness of sin and step into His radiant truth.

Love: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son." This verse from John 3:16, often seen on signs at football games, encapsulates the profound depth of God's love for us—a love so immense that it encompasses every aspect of our being, inviting us into eternal life through belief in His Son.

Life: Lent guides us on a path of renewal and conversion, leading us towards the fullness of life promised by Jesus. Today, Laetare Sunday, we rejoice in the anticipation of Easter, the celebration of Jesus' victory over death, which grants us this promised life.

Laetare Sunday, therefore, is a moment of joyful pause—a time to reflect on the gifts of Light, Love, and Life offered to us by God. It's a reminder that even in the midst of our Lenten sacrifices, we are journeying towards a glorious destination.

As we continue our path through Lent, let's embrace the light of Christ, immerse ourselves in the love of God, and renew our commitment to the life He offers. 

Let us challenge ourselves to embody the virtues we've just reflected upon. May we strive to Give Light to those in darkness, Love better by embracing God's commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, and Live better, aligning our lives more closely with the teachings of Christ.

To Give Light, we can be beacons of hope and kindness in a world that often feels shadowed by despair and division. This means offering encouragement, sharing our faith, and being present for those in need. 

To Love better, we're called to see Christ in every person, extending compassion and forgiveness even when it's challenging, embodying God's unconditional love in our interactions. 

Living better involves aligning our daily actions with our faith, making choices that reflect our commitment to justice, peace, and stewardship of God's creation, striving to live in a way that honors the gift of life we've been given.

May the joy of this Laetare Sunday inspire us to carry this light, love, and life into the world around us allowing them to illuminate, inspire, and invigorate our path to Easter.

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