"I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord." (Introit, Laetare)
Whenever these words of the psalmist come up in the liturgy they are always a boost of encouragement. Not as an encouragement to self-righteousness but to the faith of those who come into the Lord's house. The forces keeping us from the house of the Lord are seemingly greater than the Lord's effort to draw all men to Himself. On Sunday we sang a hymn that says that the love of the cross demands "my soul, my life, my all." This portion of the liturgy and the hymn are not speaking to the un-churched or the un-believer but to those who rejoice in the divine things that are spoken to us.
Recently, I posted that I would address "new gospels" that I have been hearing in recent years. One idea addresses the presence of God as everywhere but limits Him to everywhere outside the church. In other words, He is omnipresent in the world but somehow is not present in the church nor among His people when they receive His gifts. This idea I had not heard before. It is not close to atheism, but it certainly puts limits on the power of God and His Word. The idea may have been something someone appropriated from the secular milieu.
In chapter 6 of the Gospel according to John, Jesus feeds the 5,000 in a sacramental way, even bidding the disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." The hungry who came to the Lord were fed with the blessed food, distributed by the disciples. During Lent it seems easier to forgo the blessed food between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Outside of the strong forces of secularism, Easter tries to outdo Lent as Christmas outdoes Advent. But Lent draws us to the cross and to Christ, so Lent is the journey to Easter. "O Thou Bread of Life from heaven, Bless the food Thou here hast given!"
Laetáre Jerúsalem: et convéntum fácite, omnes qui dilígitis eam.