Sunday of the Fourth Week of Lent | Monsignor Woy
The 4th Sunday of Lent is traditionally known as “Laetare Sunday” or “Rejoice Sunday.” The Church rejoices this Sunday as we have reached the halfway mark of Lenten austerity and the celebration of Holy Week and Easter dawns on the horizon. But who could have imagined the circumstances we find ourselves in today when we began our Lenten journey back on February 26th? The coronavirus pandemic has all be shuttered life as we know it and unleashed anxiety about every aspect of our lives: physical, emotional, economic and, yes, our spiritual wellbeing.
Over the past days, I have been drawn to and encouraged by these hope-filled words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans:
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not give us everything else along with him?......What can separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31b-32; 37-39)
What encouraging words from St. Paul in this time of anxiety and uncertainty! We will get through this! God will get us through this crises! St. Paul reminds us that God loves us and absolutely nothing can change this. The God who created this vast universe in which we live – loves and cares for each and every one of us – individually and without exception. This, my friends, is the basis of our hope. This is what gives us confidence as we yearn to a return to normal.
Our celebration of Easter will be very different this year. But never forget - our faith is based on a dead man coming back to life!!! God brings new life out of tragedy and death. And God will bring new life out of the tragic and difficult circumstances in which we now find ourselves.
In the meantime, we at the Cathedral will attempt to keep our parish informed and spiritually-fed through the electronic media. Sunday and daily Masses continued to be celebrated for your intentions and live streamed at 7am, 5:30pm and Sundays at 11am with Archbishop Lori.
"Renew, Respond, Recharge: The Cathedral’s Virtual Engagement" will be released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with resources that allow you to stay engaged with the parish and your faith at this time. Fr. Ewing and I will do everything we can to care for your spiritual needs during this time – using the technology that is available to us. Please go to our webpage for information and resources: www.cathedralofmary.org.
Let us continue to hold each other in our thoughts and prayers!