• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 12 March 2021 17:36

Fourth Sunday of Lent - 2021 - Lautare Sunday

Written by Fr Yon Wiryono SVD

 

Fr Yon Wiryono headshot 150Dear brothers and sisters

We have reached the mid-point of our Lenten journey, a holy penitential season. This Sunday, we celebrate “Laetare Sunday.” The day’s theme comes from the entrance antiphon reflecting on Isaiah 66:10-11: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exalt and be satisfied at her consoling breast.”

Why do we rejoice?  We rejoice because God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that the world might be saved through him”. We rejoice because salvation is just around the corner! We rejoice because we are renewed and alive.

To enter into this Sunday’s celebration, it’s a bit similar to the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday which means Rejoice Sunday. However, the word Gaudete is taken from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:4-5: “Gaudete in Domino Semper,” Rejoice in the Lord always. Gaudete Sunday is a joyous celebration, to rejoice in the nearness of Jesus’ birth. In comparison, on Laetare Sunday, held this weekend, in the middle of our penitential season, we also reflect on the joy of giving to the poor through our almsgiving, the joy of prayer, and the joy of fasting or our sacrificial deeds for the goodness of others.

On this fourth week of our Lenten journey, I would like to offer this reflective question: What kind of God do we believe in? Or in other words: What kind of God do we give witness to? Let’s pause for a while and enjoy a reflection!  In reflecting on that question, ask ourselves again: in believing and trusting that kind of God, what kind of person should I/we become?

The Gospel this Sunday reminds us that we believe in God who is love. “God loves us so much that He gives His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” God is love and we are called to love what God loves: the whole of creation.

The Gospel presents us with the “Giving-ness of God” who gives Himself to us. That’s what we call love. Love is doing the best for others: and God giving the best to us, which is Himself. God loves us because we are His children, no matter what. No matter how sinful we are, how unworthy we are to be called God’s children, and yet, God continues to love us.

Through this Gospel, we have come to know that God is a lover. As a lover, God sent His only Son because of love and nothing else. We tend to think that God sent His Son because we are all sinners. There’s nothing wrong with it but it’s more than that. The mystery of God’s love is bigger than the theme of sin. I can put it this way - even before creation, God had in mind to give Himself to us because He loves us so much.

As a lover, as it is said in this Gospel, God sends His Son not to condemn the world, but so that through Him the world might be saved. It is not a loving God who condemns; rather people choose to alienate themselves from His love. Therefore, during this holy season of Lent, we are called to come back to God as we tend to alienate ourselves from God. Let’s renew our love relationship with God through the sacraments of reconciliation and direct ourselves to prayer, sacrifice and generous giving.

I would like to conclude by sharing this beautiful prayer from Fr. Richard Rohr:

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.

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