4th Sunday of Lent Year A

     I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how to preach today, but when you are not sure you go back to the fundamentals and so my friends, “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”[1] Perhaps you are wondering how these words of the psalmists could apply to us. With the fear of coronavirus spreading to our families, the financial strains we may be experiencing, the uncertainty of what is next, and our inability to gather as a parish family to celebrate the Mass, it is certainly a dark time for our community. Yet, it is precisely in the dark moments, that we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of faith, because as followers of Christ, there is only one way to look at life and that is through the lens of faith. This gift of faith, enables us to look at life differently because as St. Paul reminds us in today’s second reading we “were once in darkness, but now you are light in the lord.”[2]

     Today I think we need to be reminded of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of St. Matthew, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”[3] We are not to be anxious but to lean on Christ, the one who gives us comfort and a hope for a future. “Thus, we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea”[4] because “He is our ever-present help in time of trouble.”[5] After all, Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world and whoever follows Him will have the light of life.[6]

     When faced with darkness like we are today, I think we need to be reminded that our God is a faithful God and His light is always shinning in our lives. So as the darkness swells around us, his light seems to glow all the brighter. While this may be hard to see in the present, if we can stop and look to the past, the light of His faithfulness becomes ever clearer to us in the present.

     The truth is that all of us were born blind to the light of faith. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how that light came into your life? Like the blind man in today’s gospel, it was ultimately God who first sought us out. It was God who recognized our blindness and called us into His own marvelous light. Just as Jesus passed by the blind man over 2,000 years ago and in His mercy and love reached out and touched him, so too today, Jesus is still passing by, looking for each one of us. The 2,000 year history of our church shows us that when we allow Christ’s light to penetrate the darkness of our lives, He takes that evil and makes something beautiful out of it. In fact, “God makes use of evil in such a superb way and with such skill that the result is better than if there had never been evil.”[7]

     Yet Jesus does not operate in a vacuum, no He works through others to reach us. Think about it, who first introduced you to the light of faith? Regardless of whether you were young or old when you were baptized, you did not come to the faith on your own. Whether it was our parents before we ever knew what was going on, or a friend who introduced us to the Church when we were older, was it not someone else who brought us into the light of faith? It’s the beauty of our Catholic faith. You see our faith has not been handed down by a text book, or through some other secret means. No, our faith has been handed down from one person to another. The story of our church is the story of the Son of God calling 12 men to follow after Him. They followed Him, He poured the light of faith into their hearts and then they wanted to hand that light onto others, who in turn came to see what the light of Christ did in their lives and in turn handed the faith down. Our faith has been spread from one believer who recognized what God had done for them passing it on to another who passed it on to another, and to another and so on, down until today when you were baptized. For it was at the moment of baptism that we, like David in today’s first reading, we were consecrated and anointed with the Spirit.

    As Christ’s light continues to remove the blindness from our lives, we then become commissioned to be the light of Christ in the world reaching out in charity to the neediest and sacrificing our comfort and ease to bring the redeeming love of Christ to others. So, since light shines all the brighter in the midst of darkness, the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic is our chance to be that bright light. How will you bring that light of Christ to those most in need? Perhaps all we can do is wash our hands and pray, perhaps we can reach out to a loved one or an elderly neighbor with a phone call or even, with proper social distancing, stop by, perhaps we are in a position to offer to go shopping for someone who is sick or is susceptible to being sick. Whatever it is, if we first allow our faith to light the path for us and then allow God to use us to light the path for another, there is nothing that can come our way which can keep us down. Afterall since “the Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”[8]

 

[1] Psalm 118:24

[2] Ephesians 5:8

[3] Matthew 6:34

[4] Psalm 46:2

[5] Psalm 46:1

[6] John 8:12

[7] Stinssen, Wilfrid. Into Your Hands, Father Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us. San Francisco: Ignatius Press 2011. Pg 15.

[8] Today’s responsorial psalm

2 thoughts on “4th Sunday of Lent Year A

  1. Thank you, Father Peter. I’m grateful you continue to publish your homily every week.
    Sr. Joan Pitlyk

  2. Thank You Father! You are in our Prayers during this difficult time and always.

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