This week, the scripture readings remind us of the living water that Jesus offers to us all. Next Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, he heals the blind man and we are reminded that we all continue to be led out of darkness/blindness into true faith and, ultimately, joy. The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetere Sunday, which comes from the Entrance Antiphon for the day: “Rejoice, Jerusalem!” It marks a joyful relief from our Lenten fasting and repentance.
While it feels a bit contrary to the season, I’ve actually been concentrating on joy and happiness this Lent. Like some of you, I’ve been receiving the Best Lent Ever daily emails from Dynamic Catholic. Matthew Kelly has based each day’s reflection on his book “Resisting Happiness.” In Chapter 3, Kelly says that the opening point of the first chapter of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The desire for God is written in the human heart because man is created by God and for God, and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for (CCC, 27).” God made us for happiness. I love that!
So how do we move toward happiness in our lives while we are making our Lenten journey? This season calls us to focus on prayer, fasting, and sharing our time, talent, and treasure, so that we will turn away from our worldly concerns and focus on God’s abundant mercy and love, finding a way to show it to others. If you think about what makes you truly happy, my guess is you are your happiest when you are serving others. You can pray with and for others. Part of your fasting can be saving resources to give to the poor and by performing acts of charity, like serving a Neighbor-to-Neighbor meal.
Through service, we lay down our lives for others. We become the best version of ourselves and experience the happiness and joy God created us for.
~ Kelley Smith, Music Liturgist