“Sleeper, awake!”

In this Sunday’s Second Reading, St. Paul refers in his Letter to the Ephesians the following statement: “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” This is an example of how liturgical prayers of the Early Church were often quoted by St. Paul in his letters.

This statement appears to come from an early baptismal hymn that the First Christians would have sung during the celebration of baptisms. The sleeper is one who is spiritually dead on account of Original and personal sin, but who can arise from the darkness through the saving grace of baptism that will restore the soul to light and make someone into a child of God.

As we have reached the halfway point of Lent, we should be remindful of all those who will at the Easter Vigil receive the sacrament of Baptism. Let us especially pray for them as they make their final preparation to become members of the Catholic Church and pray that many more will seek and find Christ and wish to become part of His Mystical Body.

As the 4th Sunday of Lent is known as Laetare or Rejoice Sunday, let us rejoice that our Church will soon welcome new members into its fold and inspire is in the many ways we continue the work of evangelization that Christ has entrusted to each of us.