Third Sunday of Lent, March 7: Clarity, a Sunday Scriptures blog

These thoughts are based on Cycle B, our 2021 lectionary cycle. This Sunday’s Gospel is the account of how Jesus cleansed the temple, driving out the merchants selling things there. (Some Masses, where those preparing for Easter sacraments are present, may use the Cycle A Gospel.) I was thinking about cleansing and COVID. A year has passed since our churches were shut down. A lot has been lost. But perhaps that loss has been cleansing in that we may more easily see that what is important is practicing our faith. It is not the externals of our liturgy. For the Jews of Jesus’ day, externals were some of the things that went into sacrifice and purification rituals. For us, externals we’ve shed are large gatherings, viewings for funerals, singing songs, holy water. … As we lost these “external” practices to COVID, perhaps now words of liturgies are clearer in the silence; perhaps we have a more expansive idea of how we can be present to one another, in the age of Zoom, Facebook, etc. And perhaps we can hear more clearly what Paul tells us today in the Epistle: It is Christ crucified … the power of God and the wisdom of God. All our externals, devotions, liturgical ceremonies, are meant to connect us with Him. In the end, all will pass away except for our union with God through Christ.

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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