Sunday Readings and Reflections

Carl Bloch (1834-1890), “The Cleansing of the Temple” 

Sunday, March 7 
Third Sunday of Lent 

Roman Ordinary calendar

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

Book of Exodus 20,1-17.

In those days, God delivered all these commandments : 
“I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. 
You shall not have other gods besides me. 
You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 
you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; 
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments. 
“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain. 
“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. 
Six days you may labor and do all your work, 
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. 
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 
“Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you. 
“You shall not kill. 
“You shall not commit adultery. 
“You shall not steal. 
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.” 

Psalms 19(18),

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, 
enduring forever; 
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. 

First Letter to the Corinthians 1,22-25.

Brothers and sisters: Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 
but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 2,13-25.

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. 
He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, 
and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” 
His disciples recalled the words of scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 
At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 
The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” 
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. 
While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. 
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. 

Saint Augustine (354-430) 
Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Sermon 163, 5

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

We are still God’s workmen who are building the temple of God. This temple’s dedication has already taken place in its Head in that the Lord has risen from the dead after his victory over death and having destroyed in himself what was mortal, he has ascended to heaven (…) But now we are building this temple through faith so that its dedication may also be made at the final resurrection. That is why (…) one of the Psalms has the title: “When the Temple was rebuilt after the captivity” (95[96]:1 Vg.). Call to mind our own former captivity when the devil held the whole world in his power, like a flock of the unfaithful. It was due to this captivity that our Redeemer came. He shed his blood for our ransoming and, by the blood he poured out, he cancelled the debt that was holding us captive (Col 2:14) (…) Sold beforehand to sin, we have now been set free by grace.

Following this captivity the temple is now being built and, to raise it up, the Good News proclaimed. That is why this Psalm begins as follows: “Sing to the Lord a new song” And, lest you think this temple is being constructed in some insignificant corner, as the heretics who separate themselves from the Church build it, pay attention to what follows: “Sing to the Lord, all you lands” (…)

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands.” Sing and clap your hands! Sing and “bless the name of the Lord” (v. 2). Proclaim the day born of the day of salvation, the day born of the day of Christ. For who is the salvation of God if not his Christ? This is the salvation we pray for in the Psalm: “Show us, Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.” Just men of old longed for this salvation, those of whom the Lord said to his disciples: “Many desired to see what you see, but did not see it” (Lk 10:24) (…) “Sing to the lord a new song; sing to the Lord” See the fervor of the builders! “Sing to the Lord and bless his name.” Proclaim the Good News! What good news is that? Day is born from day (…); Light from Light; the Son from the Father, the saving power of God! This is how the temple is built after the captivity.

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and here for Fr Z’s Sunday post

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1 Response to Sunday Readings and Reflections

  1. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    This is a great blog article presenting so much historical context and perspective during the Lent Season leading up to the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; in fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures to His being Risen on Easter Sunday. Every Easter I watch the Mel Gibson Icon Production a 20th Century Fox release film The Passion of The Christ, because ever since the film was made I found that my watching it especially alone; gives me a fully and richer sense of really connecting with the historical Jesus Christ the man and Savior, when He was actually physically here on earth, putting our Savior in perfect context in this way I believe prepares me in a very special way, to have my heart completely open and prepared as an offering to Him on Easter the day He is risen when I attend Mass, so that I can gain a more humbled and visceral sense of hopefully being worthy of rising from my own death someday; up into heaven with Him, the Father and holy Mother Mary along with our whole heavenly family. I know doing this practice before Easter Sunday does literally put me into the humblest frame of mind I can be in as I weep throughout the film as I can easily visualize what my Lord and Savior did for me even though I’m so unworthy but just like He does for any of us who will believe and accept His gift on bent knee of everlasting life with Him! Amen.
    God Bless!
    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Today I commented on another blog which brought up American Slavery and I mentioned the harsh slavery that existed thousands of years ago in Egypt and then on into the Middle Ages. I want to include that portion of the text here along with two blog essay links; which I had written.

    The crusades by the way were generally a resultant reaction to what preceded them when the Muslims following the false prophet Muhammad after his final proclamation that Christianity is not acceptable to God and that all Christians, Jews or any others must convert to Islam or be put to death! Those were horrible times and yes some of the inquisitors perhaps enabled by the Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy along with monarchy leadership of those nations, got over zealous and hurt many of their own in the war that was raging on to free Europe from the grip of the largest Caliphate in history when the Muslims killed, raped and enslaved multitudes of people; so you want to talk about slavery talk about its original origins under Islam or even the Ancient Egyptian Empire doing the same for thousands of years to build and establish their kingdom.
    I want to share a couple of blogs I wrote with you and anyone who is interested to just add a bit of my perception of what the Truth is; much of the American Birth you and I agree on in spades! The truth had been rewritten and perverted by sinister left wing radicals that hate America and let’s just say the Truth! They work for Satan make no mistake about that!


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