Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Reason to Rejoice

Today is St. Patrick's Day, and to me, it's a little like St. Valentine's Day (which we actually celebrate on the day the Church recognizes St. Cyril and Methodius...what the what? Think they appreciate good chocolate and a little romance as well?); it's really just a day we use a saint as an excuse to do what we want. Right?

Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I'm not Irish, but I can appreciate culture and what the day means to Irish folks. It's more a celebration of a heritage, a history, and a love for the drink ;) I can get on board with that.

Yesterday, someone asked me if I am Irish and if I would be celebrating today. I said I wasn't Irish, but I am Catholic, and that seemed a justifiable enough answer for both of us as to why I would partake in St. Patty's Day festivities.

This theme of 'justifiable rejoicing' kind of goes along with this Sunday's readings and the feast of Laetare Sunday. First of all, the priest was wearing PINK which is reason enough for me to smile a little (though, technically, it is "rose". Priests always like to remind me of that...whatever. It's PINK. OWN IT) And we interpret this as a reminder that though we are in a time of penance, we are still rejoicing.

Laetare Sunday kind of sneaks up on us. Suddenly it's like OH MAN we are halfway done with Lent! WHOO HOO! Rejoice! But it also calls us to remember, why are we doing this stuff during Lent anyways?

The Gospel this past Sunday was the Prodigal Son, which I recently blogged about, so I will not go too into detail on the reading itself, but it echoes of the reason(s) we rejoice: the Father's Love and His mercy.

Also, the Gospel reading reminds us why the Father rejoices too. He loves us! And He's gonna throw US a party because of it! Regardless of what we do, He rejoices when we come back to Him. He rejoices because we are dear to Him.

But do we even need all these reasons to celebrate? Do I need to justify my reason to drink a Guinness tonight or wear green? (I look re-uhl good in green, just saying. And I rock it quite often, thank you very much ;) Do we need that reminder to rejoice in Lent? (ps- the Church doesn't just stick Laetare Sunday in the middle of Lent as that reminder, there are other meanings OF COURSE. That's just the most often used interpretation)

I bring this up because in prayer this morning I found myself being like, "Okay, God. Hope, trust- these are GREAT themes. But I think I'm ready for something NEW to pray with. I need a reason to rejoice in prayer, in life."

I have friends and family members who have recently received great news that will bring great changes in their lives. REASONS to rejoice. Things that the world can point to and be like- that's worth celebrating! When the Prodigal Son returned to the Father, did he do so because he knew there would be a celebration? Nope. It was out of necessity, really. A call, perhaps. Regardless, he knew it was time to surrender. And this surrender was what the Father decided to celebrate.

Surrender is not a one time deal. It's constant. Daily. Moment by moment. And it's a release, an emptying. So really, we can be celebrating that effort everyday! The Father sure does...

Today's readings for "St.Patrick's Day" from Isaiah and the Psalms(really, the priest made no mention of poor St. Patty when I went to Mass today. #truthbomb. Though, I also was a little late getting there, so I may have missed it. #truthbombtakeitback ) were examples of rejoicing in the midst of having nothing really.

Isaiah 49:8-15 talks about Zion feeling forgotten and having our own mountains to climb (though God cuts a path through them for us. Hope! Win!) And we all know David was no angel.Even though both were probably in desparate circumstances (people turned against them, persecution, you know, the usual) they placed trust in God.

There's that TRUST theme again, God!! Hmmmm....

So perhaps we should celebrate today- which I believe the Irish do, though my knowledge on corned beef and cabbage is limited- our trust in the Father, our daily surrender, and His promise of hope to us.

Trust and hope. Trust and hope. You think I'd get it or run out of things to say about it by now? ;)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all, and Happy Lent!

1 comment:

Single and Sane said...

"Surrender is not a one time deal. It's constant. Daily. Moment by moment. And it's a release, an emptying. So really, we can be celebrating that effort everyday! The Father sure does..."

Love that! Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is great!