Yesterday was Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. Laetare is Latin for “rejoice”. Therefore, yesterday was “rejoicing Sunday”. You may be wondering what, exactly, we’re rejoicing about in the middle of Lent. Well, we’re rejoicing because it is the middle of Lent! We’re halfway there. The Resurrection is just a few short weeks away! That’s reason for rejoicing (especially if you’ve given up chocolate for Lent!)
But, instead of viewing this point as a day on a calendar that gets you one day closer to the end of your own sacrifice, think of it more as Lent’s halftime. At halftime, you get a short break. You rest your body and reflect on the first half and what went right or wrong. You come up with a new strategy to attack the second half with more success than you had in the first. You renew your commitment and rally your forces. Not a bad way to approach the last half of Lent, don’t you think?
At the Mass I attended, the priest talked about making the second half of the season even more successful than the first. He drew another sports analogy, running a marathon, but since I’m not a runner, this one works better for me. Nevertheless, there’s no reason why we can’t make the second half of Lent more prayerful and focused than the first half. If your first half wasn’t very committed, then think of this as a Lenten do-over. If you feel that you’ve stayed the course of your Lenten devotion, think of this as an opportunity to crescendo your efforts culminating on Easter with the Resurrection. In show biz they call that the “big finish”.
My point is, it’s not too late to redeem the season. After all, our faith is not about perfection, it’s about redemption, isn’t it?