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Mass for the Second Sunday of Lent
Saturday, February 27, 5:30 PM vigil mass
Click here to read the 2021 Lent “Purple Paper“
3RD SUNDAY OF LENT – CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
John places Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple near the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, while the other Gospels place it near the end. In all four Gospels the incident points forward to the death of Jesus. In John’s version of the story he has his own points to make.
One point is Jesus’ identity as the unique Son of God. Only in John’s account does Jesus say, “stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” Another point John makes is that Jesus is the replacement of the Temple in Jerusalem as the place of God’s special presence in the world. Jesus says, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The narrator of John’s Gospel explains that Jesus “was speaking of the Temple of His Body,” and was referring to His coming death and resurrection.
This story has less to do with Jesus being upset by commercialism than with the question of His identity. Now He was the special presence of God on earth, not the Jewish Temple.
Jesus’ actions at the Temple was another sign of who He was and the momentous change He was making in the relationship between God and His people. His disciples did not immediately grasp the full significance of the signs He worked, however the meaning became clearer after Jesus’ Resurrection. These signs allowed His followers to begin to believe in Him.
The Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed in 70AD. When Jesus was lifted up on the cross in sacrifice to God, he would raise Himself up on the third day as the new Temple – the new way for us to have access to God. God is now present in Jesus and will remain forever present in the body of the Risen Christ.
As we go through the restrictions from the Pandemic and see things happening in our country which make us worry and stressed, it is important for us to see the bigger picture. Jesus is the way you and I have access to God. We need to stay close to Him in prayer, good works and especially through the Sacraments.
The two Sacraments which help us keep our connection with Jesus are the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. Through Penance we receive the forgiveness of sins and Gods grace to live the good life – to follow the way of Jesus. Through the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive Jesus Himself. We become more a part of Him and He becomes more a part of our life.
As we walk through Lent and make progress toward Easter, go to Confession and receive Holy communion.
~ Msgr. Powell
REMEMBER TO KEEP HOLY THE LORD’S DAY.
KEEP THE SABBATH.
WORSHIP GOD FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.