THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – 2018
« The readings for this Sunday put in front of us God’s Law, and Jesus as the incarnation of the Law and of the Temple.
FIRST READING – Ex 20:1-17
Ø The people that had been liberated from Egypt by God, and that made a covenant with God on Mount Sinai, is called by his God to translate this covenant into a behavior which reflects this love between God and his people, and the response of the people.
Ø The Law, the Torah is about the behavior towards God, towards the other persons and towards the whole of creation.
Ø The covenant has been made between God and the people. From now on there will be no more sins against God and sins against the people, all sins will be against God.
Ø This explains why Jesus in his farewell to his disciples gave only one commandment, the commandment of the fraternal love, because this love presupposes the love of God.
Ø The gratitude towards Yahweh who loves and liberates is the reason for living the Decalogue, if we separate the Decalogue from the covenant it loses its value.
Ø The biblical morality goes from the love of thanksgiving to the Lord, to a marital commitment and then to the morality of imitation.
Ø The people of Israel have to continue in the world the liberating work begun by God.
Ø With its fidelity to the covenant manifested in the content of the Law, it will help its brothers and sisters, members of the human race, to discover, through the witness, the God who loves them.
Ø The code of the covenant is formulated in the negative form. It is the most ample way to express the precept, much more than the positive way.
Ø The negative formulation of the law allows all the other actions which are not prohibited.
Ø This way to formulate the law makes it universal and forever, no matter what culture, what time. This law is valid always and for all.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM –Ps 18: 8. 9. 10. 11
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
v This psalm is a hymn to the Law of God, to its beauty, its perfection, its power to give us joy.
v In this four stanzas the law is:
o Perfect and it refreshes the soul
o Clear and enlightens the eyes and gives joy to the heart
o pure, permanent, just
o more attractive than any other appealing thing.
SECOND READING 1Cor 1:22-25
« The Jews asked Jesus for a sign to be able to believe, or to accept his message.
« The Greeks, so full of human wisdom, ask for what they call ”wisdom”
« But Paul says that Christ is this “wisdom” of God, which seems foolishness or a scandal.
« And Paul adds something very hard “the weakness of God=Jesus on the cross” is more powerful than men.
« Christ on the cross on mount Golgotha is the Covenant which is expressed in the New Law, the Law of the scandal of the cross. THIS IS OUR LAW!!! THE LAW OF THE FOLLOWERS OF THE CRUCIFIED AND RISEN CHRIST!!! Fable, scandal, foolishness…
GOSPEL Jn 2:13-25
This Gospel has two parts: the purification of the Temple and the sign that Jesus gives
This episode takes place during
o The first Passover of Jesus during the first year of his ministry
o John mentions three Passovers: that of the Temple, that of the Bread of Life; and that of his death and resurrection.
o The synoptic Gospels speak of only one Passover, the last one, and they introduce this episode of the purification of the Temple during that Passover.
§ Jesus at the same time that he overturns the tables of the money changers (they changed the profane currency, that had the image of Cesar, by the sacred currency to give it to the Temple) says some words from Scripture: “stop making my Father's house a marketplace. “
§ The evangelist John adds that his disciples recalled the words of the Scriptures “the zeal for your house consumes me.”
§ “To recall: it is not to look back but, to make present, it is to enter into the meaning of the words, that is what the disciples did after the resurrection.
o The second part of this reading has to do with the sign they asked for:
§ Jesus gives a mysterious and provocative sign.
§ The destruction of the Temple and its being raised again.
§ John says that only after the resurrection did the disciples “recalled” and understood that He was speaking of the temple of his body.
§ Jesus is
· The true Temple where God is truly adored.
· The Temple where we worship God as the first word pronounced on Mount Sinai says.
· But Jesus is also the Law, the fullness of the Words spoken by God on Mount Sinai.
· Because God is the LAW, and Jesus is the Word=the Son=the Second Person of the Trinity made man and thus He is the Law made visible among us.
· From the moment the Incarnate Word=Jesus has come among us, we do not have any other LAW than His WORDS echo and fullness of the WORDS OF LOVE PRONOUNCED BY YAHWEH ON MOUNT SINAI.
- GUILLÉN TORRALBA, Juan, “Éxodo” en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento I. La Casa de la Biblia, Estella Navarra, 1997.
- LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO, comentarios de Luis Alonso Schökel. Misioneros Claretianos, 2010.
- LOZANO, Juan Manuel, Escritos María Antonia París, Estudio crítico, “El Misionero Apostólico”. Barcelona 1985.
- RAVASI, GIANFRANCO. Según las Escrituras. Doble Comentario de las lecturas del domingo. Año B. San Pablo, Bogotá,Colombia 2005.
§ VIÑAS, José María cmf y BERMEJO, Jesús, cmf. “Autobiografía ” de San Antonio María Claret.
I was very attentive, overwhelmed to what was happening, and it seemed to me that I was reading the Holy Law of God, but without seeing any books nor letters; I was seeing it written, and I was understanding it so very well, that it seemed to me it was imprinting in my soul but in a particular way the book of the Holy Gospels, which till then I had never read, neither the Sacred Scripture (O.T). After, by God’s grace, I have read something and I have seen it written word by word, as our Lord taught it to me from the holy tree of the cross. It seems to me that the words I understood were coming out from his host holy mouth. Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 5).
From the very beginning I have been thrilled by the preaching style of Jesus, his likenesses and parables. And how He was persecuted! He was a sign of contradiction, persecuted for his teaching, his works, and his very person. Finally, they took his life amid affronts, torments, and insults, making Him suffer the most shameful and painful death imaginable.
(St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 222)