March 7TH, 2021
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)
Our Lenten Journey has led us from the baptism of Jesus to the desert wilderness with him and then to Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountaintop.
We travel neither in the desert nor on the mountain top all the time. However, our daily lives contain moments of “desert” as well “transfiguration”. In the reading from Exodus (cf. Exodus 20.1-17) we are reminded of the Ten Commandments as guides for the journey.
In the Gospel reading of this Sunday (cf. John 2.13-25) we see Jesus on a rampage in the Temple, throwing out the vendors and money changers who have invaded this sacred space to earn a living off those who wished to make sacrifices.
The Jewish leaders want a sign, a proof of his authority for doing this. Jesus responds to the challenge by predicting his resurrection: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jewish leaders are especially puzzled when he says this. “But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” (John 21-22)
Pope Francis in his letter for Lent 2021, gives us a message of hope: “Through recollection and silent prayer, hope is given to us as inspiration and interior light, illuminating the challenges and choices we face in our mission.” . . . “In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated” (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). “To experience Lent in hope mean receiving the hope of Christ… . . . It means receiving from his open heart the Father’s forgiveness.”
God’s love is ever present with us through the all the ups and downs of life. Sunlight is accompanied by shadow, and the two each bring beauty to the landscape.
Direct, O Lord, we pray, our hearts, and in your kindness grant your servants this grace: that, abiding in the love of you and their neighbor, they may fulfill the whole of your commands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen