We are at the midpoint in our Lenten journeys - an opportunity to reflect on how well we've been observing our sacrifices and resolutions. Are we continuing toward a renewed relationship with Christ? Are our hearts being transformed? This Sunday the Church observes Laetare Sunday - a day when rose colored vestments are worn and flowers are permitted on the altar. It is a day of encouragement, hope and joy as we progress toward the end of this penitential season. It is a day where our souls are refreshed and fortified to meet Christ in His Passion and accompany Him on His way to Calvary. Half way through our journey, our anticipation for the celebration of Christ's Resurrection grows. It seems all of creation is preparing - the early Spring flowers are blossoming, trees are showing off newly adorned buds, even the bees are abuzz with expectation. We really do sense the approaching and glorious light that marks the promise of Easter.
For my family, the anticipation of the glory of Easter is marked by a palpable expectation, excitement, hope and joy as we await the birth of a little girl already loved so very much. Sometimes too eager for her arrival - and there is a real fear that she could come too soon - we know we must slow down, quiet ourselves and prayerfully wait. All the while, we continue to prepare - my daughter in very tangible ways - to welcome this precious gift of new life even as we set our eyes on the triumph and joy that is Easter morning.