Fourth Sunday of Lent 2014
My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
Happy Laetare Sunday! The Fourth Sunday of Lent is traditionally know at Laetare Sunday so called “Rejoice” that set a tone of joyful anticipation of the Easter mystery. Lent is the time of grace. The Church has this period in her liturgical calendar to remind each of us that we should make a turn back to our Lord. This grace period reminds me of the times off for vacation, for camping and for resting. Yes, we are called to rest in the Lord, we are called to camp with the Lord and we are called at this time to have a vacation with our Lord Jesus Christ. As Jesus had gone through forty days in the desert place, he had observed the forty years that the Israelites wandered in desert. We too, with Jesus Christ, observe these forty days in this Lenten season that we want to be with Christ.
When I was a young child, I joined a group called Eucharistic Youth Association (EYA). This group, later I learned, that its activities were similar to the Boy Scouts. However, the EYA has its focus on the Eucharist. Each year, we were excited to go camping, which was usually during Christmas, because in Vietnam Christmas time is not cold like Minnesota. At the campsite, the leaders would teach us so many useful things. I learned how to set up a stove in the open air with three big rocks. It was phenomenal to me for the successfulness that I had. With three rocks together we had a strong stove for cooking foods during the camping time. The picture of the three strong rocks that stood the heat and constant fire and from this we obtain the food for our physical life.
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
During Lent, the Church asks each of us to focus on praying, fasting and almsgiving. These are the three consistent works in the life of a Christian. During this time, we are about to put ourselves on this stove consisting of the three rocks namely: praying, fasting and almsgiving. Each of us is the pot that sits on this stove to sacrifice ourselves for Christ. We are called to respond to the love of Christ because on the Cross Jesus Christ had cried out that: “I thirst!” The soldiers did not understand what Christ had thirst for, but as Christians, we know Christ thirst for us.
Let us turn back to Christ Jesus. Let us build that stove that consisted of praying, fasting and almsgiving where we are the pot that sits on this stove offering ourselves for the sake of Jesus Christ who is our Savior, our God.
Rev. Joseph-Quoc Vuong