Best Lent Ever Week 4: Become a Continuous Learner

(Homily for Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A

Message: Lord, open my eyes - that I may learn what is pleasing to you.

I am wearing rose vestments for Laetare Sunday. The word means to make joyful. The name "Leticia" comes from Laetare. If you know a "Leticia" or a "Joy" congratulate them today.

We have reason for joy as we enter the 4th week of the Best Lent Ever. To receive God's joy we need - as we have seen - a daily time of silence to listen to him. Today St. Paul tells us, "Try to learn what is pleasing to God." And we have this question:

"In what way is God inspiring you to become a continuous learner this Lent?"

A continuous learner not only reads but re-reads.* A good book merits re-reading. Books that I value I have read 3 or 4 times - and one book I have read dozens of times. Not every single word - although I have read it word by word three times - but the major parts dozens of times. I'm talking of course about the Bible. Matthew Kelly (hold up Resisting Happiness) observes that the Bible is full of interesting people "Some of them walked with God and some of them walked away from God and most of them did a little bit of both."

In chapter 14 he gives motivation for daily Bible reading. He tells about a man who made a commitment to read the Bible daily. Matthew asked him if it makes a difference in his life. "Absolutely," the man says, "I am happier when I do it. I become a better leader, a better husband, a better father, just a better person, when I do it. But almost every day I feel a pull not to do it."

You know what the man is experiencing. That's right! Resistance! Mathew Kelly talks about how to keep going in the face of resistance. Many people have told me how helpful they find his Best Lent Ever videos.

This week dust off your Bible and start with Matthew's Gospel and Psalm 1. Some verses you may find perplexing - like the list of Jesus' ancestors. Others familiar like the stories of Jesus birth. After Easter I will offer a way to go deeper into God's Word. For now I ask you to read and be at peace. What matters is listening to God - ten minutes of silence, maybe more, maybe less.

At this point, please take your Mass Journal and write one idea that will help you this week to listen to God, to experience his healing, to open your life to him.

We're all like the man in today's Gospel. We need Jesus to open our eyes. The man in the Gospel has one big advantage. He knew he was blind. We often do not. A prayer for this week: Lord, open my eyes - that I may learn what is pleasing to God. Amen.


*About reading and re-reading C.S. Lewis said, "Re-reading, we always find a new book." And "Ideally, we should like to define a good book as one which 'permits, invites, or compels' good reading."

Spanish Version

From Archives (Year A Homilies for Fourth Sunday of Lent):

Prayer and Spiritual Combat Week 4 (2014)
Sight (2011)
Small Gesture with Enormous Promise (2008)
Seeing and Knowing (2005)
Men Who Went Blind (2002)
Fatal Blindness (1999)

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

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