3rd Sunday of Lent (Fr. Vinner)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
As we continue our journey this season, on this third Sunday of Lent, we celebrate Christ the fullness of the Law and the wisdom of God. Today, the church calls us to re-dedicate ourselves to Christ. This is because He is the fulfillment of God’s commandment.
In our first reading from Exodus, God gave the Law to Moses for Israel. The Law was given to Israel to help them become wiser. It was also given to them in order to strengthen their relationship with God and to help them organize their social and religious life.
Hence, the commandments of God are meant to form us into a sacred community. That is, a community rooted in the genuine worship of God. A community that lives in justice and peace with one another therefore, we are to live as neighbors, respecting one another. The ultimate and remote purpose of this is also to know, respect and worship God our creator. While the old Law was given through Moses, the new Law (Covenant) given through, and in Christ fulfills it. God reveals Himself precisely in His commandment. Hence, as the fullness of God’s commandments, Christ is the channel through which God receives and loves us.
In our second reading, Paul reminds us that Christ is: “The fullness of God’s wisdom.” The Greeks searched for this wisdom. Unfortunately, they ignorantly rejected Him. So, instead of benefiting from Him, they were misled by the wisdom of this world. According to Paul, Christ is the fullness of the law and the wisdom of God. So, whoever finds and receives him, will be filled with wisdom, and will never walk in ignorance. “Whoever receives him will never walk in darkness again” (Jn 8, 12). Darkness is opposed to wisdom. So, whoever has not received Christ the fullness of wisdom, even though, he walks according to the wisdom of this world, lives in darkness.
In today’s gospel, John narrates Jesus’ encounter with those profaning God’s Sanctuary. His action simply demonstrates that He is actually God’s wisdom and the fullness of the Law. His zeal distinguished Him, from the authorities. Instead of representing God’s interest, they represented their selfish economic and social interests. It also, distinguishes Him from temple pilgrims who simply visited the temple without real devotion to God.
What do we learn from today’s gospel? First, we are not supposed keep quite or remain indifferent while things go wrong. This is especially in the house of God, our homes, offices or any place at all. Also, we must not allow our personal destroy the sanity of our church, family, state, or country. The Church is the house of God and a place of worship. We must keep it holy and respect it. Also, it reminds us that our body and the body of Christ is the Temple of God. So, we must not defile it.
Finally, today Christ prophesied about his own death and resurrection: “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.” This prophecy will be fulfilled during the paschal mystery. Therefore, today’s gospel keeps the events of this season in perspective. It reminds us of where we are heading to this season, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis added that Christians do not go to church only to “observe a precept,” or to feel right with God but to “encounter the Lord” and discover the “strength to think and act according to the Gospel.”The Church calls us to have and promote an authentic liturgical life,” the Pope said, explaining that this is “harmony between that which the liturgy celebrates and that which we experience in our lives.” More than a “doctrine” or a “rite to be executed,” the liturgy is “fundamentally a source of life and light for our faith”.
Pope Francis cited “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, which he said “reaffirms the essential bond that unifies the life of Jesus’ disciple and liturgical worship.” The Pope reflected on the liturgical season of Lent as a “time of interior renewal” and for remission of sins. He stressed the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This sacrament “helps us grow in union with God, regain lost joy, and experience the consolation of feeling personally welcomed by the merciful embrace of the Father.”
So, as we march forward this season, let us continue to abide by the commandments of God fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the perfect wisdom. Let us acclaim Christ: “You, Lord, have the message of eternal life!”
May God Bless us.
FR. S.Vinner HGN