THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, First Scrutiny of the Elect
Also Read: Mass Readings for 07 Mar 2021
First Reading: Exodus 20: 1-17
Matters of the Heart!
Our generation today is plagued with covetousness! In our hearts, we covet others for their good looks, the things they possess, the house/car they own, the family life they seem to enjoy, the good job/business they appear to hold down! We truly have turned into a perverse people, I daresay resembling the Sodom and Gomorrah of Old! For it is in our hearts that we covet first, then we go about trying to satisfy our own desires!
The 9th and 10th Commandments hold the seed of the previous commandments, beginning with #5,6,7, and 8! It is in the jealousy of his heart that Cain committed the first murder! (Gen 4:8) When we try to satisfy our own desires, without relying on GOD for them; we fall into the trap! “The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse who can understand it.” (Jer 17:9) The Prophet exclaims this so beautifully here! Once we murder, steal or commit adultery, we attempt to cover it all up by bearing false witness! The evil seed of corrupt desire germinates in us: murderous schemes in our hearts and without uttering a word we commit adultery with our eyes!!
Then again Solomon admonishes us: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Prov. 4:23) A King who had it all, much more than any other on this earth; knew exactly what temptations meant and the efforts needed to stand firm! Therefore, We Must Keep A VIGILANT Eye on our hearts’ Desires!
It would be good practice for us in this Season to read this particular passage once again, examine our conscience, and reflect on how we fare in the areas mentioned therein!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19: 8, 9, 10, 11
Rules and Rewards.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (v.11)
The LORD gave us the commandments not to penalize or constrict us, but rather as a beacon for us to remain safe! As verse 8 says in keeping the precepts of the LORD, our Heart rejoices.
Second Reading: First Corinthians 1: 22-25
A Sign for the Fool and the Wise!
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom.”(v.22) “For GOD’S foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and GOD’S Weakness is Stronger than human strength.” (v.25)
We humans, with all our frailties and foolishness, still dare have the audacity to demand from GOD- signs! For those looking down upon the Crucified CHRIST, A Church that has been around for 2000+ years must signify ample evidence of GOD’S work! Yet, we the people, having advanced technologically, an attempt at finding the ‘GOD particle’ and fail miserably! How truly and utterly foolish of us! Just because we cannot stand to have faith in CHRIST’S death and Resurrection, we try to masquerade as a ‘developed’ species and fall flat in this regard.
Consider the fact that GOD HIMSELF has created each tiniest of the tiniest molecule of the entire universe! -How are we to fathom any of his workings? It is only through faith that we can make sense of the world as we see it and the eternal world that beckons to our internal selves ever so often!
As a species, we are wise yet we MUST remember that no matter how much progress we might achieve; we are truly foolish without GOD! We serve a Living GOD who is in us and among us, by the Power of the Holy Spirit! The Spirit that covered the formless earth before it was formed. (Gen: 1:1-2) It is the same breath of GOD that lives in us! Therefore, without GOD we can do nothing – no scientific bounds nor developmental leaps! Higgs or no – unless we have been called as HIS People; we are doomed to remain in our folly!
Hence, the fact that we are reading this right now points to an invitation sent out to us; -Here is ‘the Calling’! (v.24) – A call to Repentance, A call to Faith, and A Call to Living! Are we Listening? If we are truly HIS sheep, we will hear HIS Voice!
Gospel: John 2: 13-25
After having cleansed the temple, CHRIST is confronted by the JEWS! As they demand a sign from HIM, HE foretells HIS own death and resurrection! Yet, at that moment their mind was blinded to the presence of God among them there! HIS disciples only remember HIS words after HIS Ressurection.
If CHRIST were to enter the temples within us today, what would HE find? Would HE need to drive away any greedy money changers from within us? Or perhaps some crooked sellers? Maybe even some lecherous idolators?
What cords would HE use? -The rod of disciplined Listening and The whip of commandments meant to prod us onto the right paths! We could start cleansing our own selves in this purification period; without having to await HIS physical arrival, cord in hand! Purging and pruning is a difficult and sometimes long-drawn process! Yet we ought to endure the whiplashes and knocks on our heads sometimes if we are to be refined as silver or gold! Now, wouldn’t that be a Wonderful Prospect! As vessels of the Holy Spirit, we stand an opportunity to be made worthy Silverware of the LORD!
Help us O LORD to be vigilant and steady in faith! Mother Mary Pray for us, Amen! Thank You, LORD, Praise GOD!