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This week follows the Fourth Sunday of Lent, often called Laetare Sunday. “Laetare” is Latin for “Rejoice.” I remember when I was in grade school at Holy Cross (now Our Lady of the Lake) in Euclid, the Ursuline Sisters told us that we rejoiced on Laetare Sunday because it meant we were half way through Lent to Easter. For us kids, it also meant we were closer to the end of “giving up” and to getting Easter candy!
Despite the “relief” that the end of Lent is nearing, there is another reason to rejoice—every day, not just on Laetare Sunday. It comes from Sunday’s Gospel according to John:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
When we realize that we are loved by God, infinitely, deeply, we have every reason to rejoice. If Easter teaches us anything, it is that God’s love is stronger than death, than sin, than apathy or hatred.
Take time with the scripture passage above; substitute your name for “the world” every time it appears in the passage. Christ came for one, for everyone, for all—for me, for you, for us, for the world, for all time. In Christ, we have every reason to rejoice, every day, no matter what.