Rejoice? It seems like an odd command in the middle of Lent, doesn't it? We get ashes smeared on our foreheads. The Scriptures remind us of our sinfulness. We meditate on the brutal cross of Christ Jesus. We are asked to identify with the ultimate of betrayals by both Judas and Peter. We know the resurrection is coming. Isn't that the time to rejoice? Why are we asked to rejoice on the 4th Sunday of Lent?
Many of the mystic Saints describe the dark night of the soul as a place of silence and abandonment. It sounds a bit a like Lent when they describe. It is a dry and deserted place. Yet, they say that it is in this silence and dryness that God is closest. God never, ever abandons His people. His presence is always as close as the very air we breath. This is the reason that we rejoice. Even in the midst of pain, suffering, hardship, and loneliness, we should never despair. God is closer than we know and this fact fills us with gratitude.
Gratitude is the correct response to a gift. The gift we have been given is the very presence of God in the midst of suffering and sacrifice. We hope that Grateful from Tom Tomaszek will help you to feel the presence of God and respond with a heart that overflows with thanks.
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