Third Sunday of Lent


by Lucinda M. Vardey

We usually recognize Jesus’ character as caring, compassionate, merciful and patient but today’s gospel turns the tables on those assumptions.

Jesus’ anger in the temple became corroborating evidence for the Jerusalem authorities against him whose actions could singlehandedly cause enough upset to start a rebellion. But a rebellion of a different sort was already being ignited. What Jesus revealed in the temple just before Passover, was the truth of not only what needed to change, but what was going to change with his impending death and subsequent resurrection. As his was to be the ultimate sacrifice, he was signalling the ending of the old ways and manner of temple rituals and most other things that had got out of control and lost the significance of their sacredness.

The pertinence of this message for us today, is in the importance of being aware of the centrality of Jesus’ presence in the sacrificial, not only at Mass and at church but also in what we choose for our souls, how to be with our families, at work and among others. Are we able to be with Jesus each and every day as our priority over lesser activities and opportunities? Are we reverent to the intimacy of his desires in our hearts? Can we, as St. Thérèse of Lisieux practiced, accomplish everyday ordinary things with extraordinary love?

Entering deeper into Lent gives us opportunities to express our dedication. Through loving the Lord we become closer to him, by being obedient to his call we embrace the newness – and freshness – of a life he promises, a life beyond our imaginings.