March 4: Third Sunday of Lent 
Molly Mattingly

Exodus 20:1-17 (or shorter form, Exodus 20:1-3,7-8,12-17)
Psalm 19:8,9,10,11
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:13-25

There are several pairs of words floating around in my head from these readings: foolishness and wisdom; weakness and strength; divinity and humanity; building and body; law and gift. They bring up questions for me about human and divine nature, about the importance of space, and about fasting.

Jesus’ outburst in anger has always tripped me up in this Gospel story. Jesus is never angry in the rest of the Gospels. He is celebrating, or troubled, or tired, or moved with pity. He weeps for people, he heals people, he feeds people, and he is present to people. He calmly answers the Pharisees when he knows they are trying to goad him. Even at the prospect of death, when he prays so fervently that he sweats blood, he is not described as being angry; in fact, he begs forgiveness for those who hurt him.
This display of frustration and anger, even righteous anger, disrupts my image of Christ just as he literally disrupts the tables. Probably, that is exactly the point: I am not allowed to be complacent in my image of Christ, just as the people there that day were not allowed to be complacent in their understanding of the law.



Jesus seems particularly human to me because of this story. Perhaps this is ironic since, in the Old Testament, righteous anger seemed to be God’s normal mood. It is especially interesting to consider in light of the second reading’s reflection on the crucifixion, that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
God overturns my expectations of what wisdom and strength look like. I continue to ponder whether the righteous anger of God is somehow more peaceful than human peace, or perhaps more peaceful than human complacency. What is God telling me about the nature of divinity and humanity here?

I think Jesus reveals the reason for his anger in the analogy between the temple building and his body. The space that was meant to be reserved for being with God, for encountering God, had been repurposed for carrying out the letter of the law (through sacrifice).
God gave the Law to help the people grow closer to God through practicing it. The Law was a gift, as the psalm says, more precious than a heap of purest gold and sweeter than honey from the comb. But in the Gospel story, the people were caught up in material, even the material they used to worship God, rather than being caught up in God. Jesus refers to his own body as the temple.
I can assume that, in Christ’s image, my body is also a temple for God. We the Church, the Body of Christ, are collectively a temple for God. What is God telling me about how important it is to keep my “inner room” free to encounter God? What is God telling me through this story about how deeply God desires that space for encounter?

One of the songs we use at St. John’s during Lent, “O Beauty Ever Ancient,” is based on St. Augustine’s Confessions. One line says, “This created world is glorious, yet I could not see within, see your loveliness behind all, find the Giver in the gift.”
I think Augustine hits upon the reason behind our Lenten fast and upon Jesus’ desire for the people in the temple: to remember that the gifts we receive are meant to draw us closer to God, both individually and communally, and not to get caught up in the gifts themselves.








March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent 
Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan
Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. They came to Philip, who was from be continued


March 18: Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the Gospel of John. We are reading much further into John’s Gospel than we be continued


March 11: Fourth Sunday of Lent 
Andy Alexander, S.J.
Today is Laetare Sunday, so named because the Introit or Entrance Antiphon begins with the word “Rejoice” (Laetare) be continued


March 11: Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
The fourth Sunday of Lent is sometimes called Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” Traditionally be continued


March 4: Third Sunday of Lent 
Molly Mattingly There are be continued


March 4: Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
In today’s Gospel we read be continued


February 25: Second Sunday of Lent
Amy Hoover As I reflected on be continued


February 25: Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
On the second Sunday of Lent be continued


February 18: First Sunday of Lent
Andy Alexander, S.J.
After the big flood, God be continued


February 18: First Sunday of Lent, Cycle B
On the first Sunday of Lent, the be continued


February 14: Ash Wednesday
Dick Hauser, S.J. Who are we? be continued


Why do we say that there are be continued



PROPOSALS FOR MEDITATION - We want to offer spiritual texts, which can be of help to nourish our faith and strengthen our life in Christ: they are an opportunity to compare our experience with that of Christian witnesses 'old' and contemporary.

We keep the coming feast of the Lord through deeds, not words - Saint Athanasius
Christ offered himself for us - St. Fulgentius of Ruspe
"Interview between Jesus and Nicodemus" - Daniella Zsupan-Jerome
Christ is the way to the loght, the truth and the life - Saint Augustine

Christ the high priest makes atonement for our sins - Origen, priest
All human activity is to find its purification in the paschal - Gaudius et Spes
The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came ... - St. Leo the Great
Christ and Moses - St. John Chrysostom
God's Invitation
How to find time in the day for Lent
Lent through the lens of grace
Lent: repent - Saint Clement, pope





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