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  • Writer's pictureJessica Grima

The Light of God

Even though today is the fourth Sunday of Lent, to most of the world it is just another day. Another Sunday to get laundry done, make lunches for school and work, and start planning for the week ahead. Today was just another day for me too. However, when my father died in December of 2003, March 10th became a day of bittersweet rejoicing. Today is the day that my dad was born. I remember celebrating his birthday when I was growing up, but my dad was also someone who did not want people to fawn all over him. He was a person who fawned over everyone else. He made a big deal out of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Since he has been gone, I have made a point to celebrate and remember everything about him and what he taught me in the short seventeen years that he was in my life. I lift a glass for him each year on this day wishing he were with us, but rejoicing that he is having a way better birthday in Heaven.   

So how does this day become more than just another Sunday? The fourth Sunday of Lent is traditionally called Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word that means, “rejoice”. How fitting that every so often it ties into my dad’s birthday. The Gospels describe the reason for our joy in that God loved the world so much He revealed that love through Jesus. God is light, and without that light, we cannot see. As John speaks to us about the light coming into the world, Jesus came to heal the spiritual blindness so the world can recognize Him as the way, the truth, and the life. Often our blind spots on loving others, the violence that is happening around us, and the enormous suffering of the world around us blinds us to what it truly means to love selflessly and sacrificially which can be defeated by fully having Jesus dwelling within us and seeking it out in others. This happens through personal prayer, reading, learning, and meditating on the Scriptures and living a Sacramental life seeing the good even through our suffering and failures.   Jonathan Swift said, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. So today, as I lift a glass to my dad who I wish with my entire being was sitting at the table with us, we remember that God’s light and the gift of Jesus that He gave to the world belongs to all of us especially those who can see the good hidden in the kernels of suffering and failure. Jesus resides in those who never give up hope. (HOPE- Hold On Pain Ends) I pray for all of us for the grace to see and experience the presence of a loving and forgiving God. 

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