Daily Archives: March 26, 2006

Laetare Sunday

We get to Mass and the music leaflet says that it’s Laetare Sunday. And I have no idea what Laetare Sunday means. I probably learned this in RCIA class.[1] And the readings are for some reason the readings from Year A rather than this year, Year B. But then the candidates and catechumens come up for scrutinies, so maybe it has something to do with that.[2]

Deacon Work reads the Gospel, and then, instead of swapping with Father Caulfield, he stays at the lectern and delivers a homily. At first it’s rather a plain explication of the Gospel, with discussion of metaphorical blindness and seeing. But then he veers into a very personal and moving witness of his own life and conversion to Catholicism. He ends by singing the first verse (or is it the chorus?) of Amazing Grace, which is pretty good since he’s got this incredibly deep, rich voice.[3]

The Gospel itself is from St. John and is where Jesus, with mud made with own his saliva, gives sight to the man who was blind since birth. Again I notice how St. John is different from the Synoptic Gospels not just in recounting different events but in tone and flavor and detail. St. John’s is much more like a novel, with dialog and great level of detail and description. Like today there’s all this back and forth, between Jesus and his disciples and the begger and his neighbors and the Pharisees. And also that specificity in St. John, where it’s not just Christ healing the blind man, not just waving his hand and saying “Be healed” or “Your sins are forgiven,” but spitting on the ground and mixing it to make mud and smearing it on the blind man’s eyes. Spitting and smearing. Not generally words you’d think you’d find in a religious text. Not in a good context anyway.

And the OT reading is my man Samuel, no longer a child answering “Here I am” but himself doing the searching and the calling, looking for the king for the Lord among Jesse’s sons. I have trouble understanding though how the Lord rejects Eliab by saying “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,” but then turns around and selects the ruddy and handsome and splendid David. So it’s like looks don’t matter, with the “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” But David is good-looking anyway, and there’s no mention at all of what’s in his heart, just that he’s ruddy and splendid. And, of what very little I know of the Old Testament, what is in David’s heart anyway, what with the later shenanigans with Bathsheba? This is all a bit confusing to me.

[1] A little research and I (re-)learn that it’s pretty standard, that it’s just kinda another way of saying Fourth Sunday in Lent.
[2] It does.
[3] He used to be a radio broadcaster with ABC News in Korea.