Third Sunday in Lent ReflectionSunday 4th March 2018
In the third of our Sunday Lenten Reflections we hear from Fr Mark Paver on today’s Gospel Reading:
Jesus’ actions in today’s Gospel are not those of an enraged zealot but the fulfilment of Scripture, “zeal for thy house has consumed me” (Ps.69:9). Jesus brings to fulfilment the promises of the covenant, “for all the promises of God find their yes in him” (2 Cor.1:20). In a particular way through his life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, and through the sending of the Holy Spirit, God fulfils his promise “to be with us always” (Mt.28:20).
Through baptism in the Church, we become temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.6:19), God’s dwelling place on earth, just as the temple was the dwelling place of the Holy of Holies for the Jewish people.
But now, as then, our humanity tends to corrupt if we don’t take care. We lose our edge, our focus, bad habits creep in and we drift from the “closeness” that God desires in his relationship with us. In this sense each of us is a bit like the temple and, just like the temple, we need some interior clearing out of all the things that are an offence to God. This is what Lent is really all about.
As we start to move towards the middle of our preparation time let us look again at how we are making progress:
Is giving up that extra bar of chocolate or packet of crisps really having the intended effect?
What is still left that is coming in the way of my relationship with God? Is there something that hangs heavy on my conscience?
Is there a relationship I need to mend? Let us take the opportunities that Lent provides to do some early “spring cleaning” and cleanse ourselves to be “white as snow” (Is.1:18) when the feast comes.