Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent, Year B

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent, Year B

Mar 6, 2024 | Reflections

Throughout the Gospels there are only a few times where Jesus acts out of righteous anger and each time it was to condemn hypocrisy. Hypocrisy means when a person appears to be one thing on the outside, but is actually something else completely on the inside. This is what the Temple officials were like. The Temple was given by God to the people as a House of Prayer and Worship, a place to encounter God’s mercy.

However, buying and selling and money changing went on in the Temple area because pilgrims came from all over the civilized world to arrange for sacrifices to be offered by the Priests, who would sacrifice animal victims on their behalf. The Temple Priests would provide the right beasts readily available and because people came from various countries there was a need for money changers. But over the years, these people had become greedier and greedier, more corrupt and demanded excessive fees. The Temple officials themselves had become greedy merchants. Many today like the Priests and Pharisees of Jerusalem in the year 28 are so immersed in the affairs of the world that they can give no thought to their own future. Their eyes are fixed on earthly objectives and short-term gains, instead of their ultimate end.

When asked by the Officials about His actions in the cleansing of the Temple Jesus said: Destroy this Sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up. His resurrection will be the great sign and proof they needed.

 New Covenant in the Blood of Christ

Jesus actions also signify that lambs will no longer the way to make atonement to God for sin. There is now a much better way, than the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the morning and evening to make atonement for sin.  Jesus is the true Lamb who offered Himself to the Father in His Sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary. This event is renewed in an unbloody manner in every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We now have the new Covenant in the Blood of Christ.  In 70 AD as prophesied by Jesus, the Temple in Jerusalem was completely destroyed and never rebuilt. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is now controlled by Muslims.

Our satisfaction and happiness in life come from living in Communion with God, by seeking and doing His Holy Will.  In the first reading, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments or Natural Law. These can be summed in love of God and neighbour. The Responsorial Psalm describes the effects of obeying God’s laws: 

the law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul……It gives wisdom to the simple….it gives light to the eyes…and is sweeter than honey from the comb.

We all have crosses to bear and trials to endure during this life. However, St Paul says that: 

All things work together for the good of those who love God (Rom 8:28).

So, God knows how to bring good out evil. In the second reading, St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians should make us stop and think how fortunate and blessed we are to have the gift of the true faith. Many perish through lack of knowledge and faith.

In the Church, we also have very clear teaching, for example, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the Scriptures. Thus, about 85% of the time God’s Will is clear to us. However, the other 15% of the time we can discern the Will of God through prayer. For example, through the Holy Rosary, Adoration, the Sacrament of Confession and Meditation. Adoration is a powerful way to allow the truth to penetrate, heal and protect our minds and hearts. In the Divine Mercy Shrine at Chittering there is 24/7 access to the Adoration Chapel through a key code. You are permitted to open the external windows of the Exposition Tabernacle and close them upon leaving the Chapel. Public Adoration takes place on the Main Altar through Monday to Friday, after the 3.30pm Mass until Benediction at 9pm. On First Fridays there is 7pm Mass followed by all-night Adoration, run by the men of the Parish. This concludes with Benediction followed by the 9am Mass for First Saturdays. On First Saturdays, people are encouraged to make a Communion of Reparation and stay for Adoration and the Rosary Cenacle in Our Lady’s Chapel.

At this mid-point through Lent let’s make the remaining time count by mortifying the senses, performing concrete acts of charity, together with fasting, Sacramental Confession and more intense prayer. In this way we will gain greater dominion over all our appetites and grow in Christian maturity. Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.