Meditations for the Third Sunday in Lent

Mar 4, 2018 by

 Third Week of Lent

Mar 4
am: 66, 67
pm: 19, 46
Exodus 20:1-1 Cor 1:22-25 John  2:13-25


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  As we mentioned last week in certain part of the Church in the West the Rites of Christian Initiation dating back to the ancient model of the catechumenate are a pivotal component of the Sunday liturgies during Lent. While it may be that your parish does not observe these liturgical observations, they do provide for us a personal path of renewal, if we are so inclined. On this Third Sunday of Lent begins the Scrutinies are observed with the faith community. Dating back to one of the most significant text in early Christendom called Th Apostolic Tradition, this rite within the rite calls for those seeking baptism to examine their conduct. After this examination, the bishop laid hands daily on the catechumens and led prayers of exorcism over them until their baptism. The scrutinizing of the catechumens’ lives was meant to prepare them for baptism, while the exorcisms served to prove that the scrutinies were working. The two rites were distinct yet related and were both loving acts of the church for the elect.


As the centuries marched on and fewer adults were being initiated and the number of infant baptisms increased, these two rites were condensed into one liturgy. By the 12th century, the elect participated only in an exorcism on Saturday morning right before the baptismal liturgy. By the 17th century, even this was moved to the beginning of the baptismal rite itself. However, the idea that we should give due consideration to our conduct and seek to drive away evil goes to the heart of a Holy Lent and at near mid point f the season is appropriate for us to consider those things for ourselves.


MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Some people here this account and say that Jesus need to return today to cleanse the church again given the challenges from scandal to misunderstanding it faces. While there are no moneychangers and the sellers of animals, we do have parish raffles, church girl scout cookie sales that does compel some people to take this stand.

Of course many of our churches don’t resemble the temple because when Jesus arrives the people who were coming to make a deal were crowding out the people who had come for worship. Many people highlight Jesus anger. Anyone of good will and faith would have been angry and all Jesus does is drive out what has gotten in the way. Whenever anything is in the way of your journey you normally have to remove it. It seems that many of the folks present forgot what they journey to the temple was for. So, Jesus tries to remind people in a forceful way that sacred space has the purpose of assisting in the experience of being open to God’ and encounter his presence in beauty, silence and peace. It is easy to say what needs t be done to get our churches cleaned up, so they are sacred spaces and no unimportant but perhaps the bigger challenge on this 3rd Sunday fo Lent is to cleanse our hearts and to drive out the obstacles and the idols of our lives that keep ourselves and others from encountering the living God.

PRAYER OF THE DAY: O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


.Lenten DisciplineOn this day we consider the need for sacred space to be pure. What are the sacred spaces in your life that need cleaning up. Perhaps its is the cemetery plot of your parents, the narthex of your parish, the vestibule in Sunday School. Consider taking time to make holy and special again.


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “A clean heart is a free heart. A free heart can love Christ with an undivided love in chastity, convinced that nothing and nobody will separate it from his love. – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

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