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The Third Sunday of Lent
The Third Sunday of Lent Homily Transcript
>>So we’re told over and again, we are a pilgrim people. On a life journey that begins in God and ends in God. We’re just about halfway through this holy season of Lent and we encounter this powerful gospel. We can begin to feel the tension beginning to rise; as we journey with the Lord closer to His passion, His crucifixion, and His death. And then, to celebrate His resurrection on easter.
You know, in that first reading today we we’re reminded of the ten commandments. Most of us can remember all ten of them. However, what’s very interesting to know is that there weren’t just 10 commandments.
If you go into the first five books – the Pentateuch of the Hebrew scriptures, there were over 600 rules, laws, and commandments to be followed. And to be a good Jew meant that you knew all 600 plus of these laws and rules – and that you follow them. Can you imagine the burden that would be? But that was the expectation. The law was everything.
And then, Jesus comes and He preaches the good news. And He basically reduces all those 600 plus commandments and laws and rules into two. You shall love the Lord your God with all you mind, with all you heart, with all your soul – with your spirit. And, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. In this, the law and the prophets – all the commandments – are fulfilled.
When Jesus goes into the temple, He sees all that is in error about what was going on. Selling goods, coin collectors and money changers, cheating the people. For Jesus, it had nothing to do with drawing closer to God. It was a business practice in the holy of holies in the temple. And so, He drives them out in anger.
They say that there are two major events in Jesus’ life that leads to His crucifixion. He challenges the religious order today by clearing and the cleansing of the temple. And the religious leadership is furious.
The other event in Jesus’ life is the raising of Lazarus, when people witnessed that He could raise the dead and bring them to new life. He challenges the political system in doing that and the order of society. The tension is growing.
We journey faithfully with the Lord over the next couple of weeks. We will walk with him into His passion, crucifixion and His death. We will celebrate His resurrection for we are people of hope.