March 3, 3rd Sunday of Lent, Coveting: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Because there are special ceremonies for those preparing for Easter sacraments on the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, the readings from Lectionary Cycle A may be used instead of the readings from this liturgical year, Cycle B. This reflection flows from the Hebrew Scripture reading of Cycle B. It is the account of the Ten Commandments. Two of those commandments are about coveting your neighbor’s possessions or wife or “anything else that belongs to him.” Covetousness is also one of the “capital sins,” or roots in us from which sin flows — remember them? (The others are pride, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth.) We live in a covetous culture. Our culture influences us to desire and go after so many things: both obvious things, and less obvious. We covet position, “moving on up” into a better job, neighborhood, house; we covet acclamation, being thought better than others in some way, even in things like parenting or other relationship roles. We covet popularity, today maybe exemplified in having followers on social media. We covet our identity as Americans with its proclaimed No. 1-ness, our tribe and our place in it. We covet youth and beauty. We covet the immortality of being remembered through a legacy of some sort, through our descendants or wealth or deeds. Think of other examples. Covetousness is desiring. Desiring is not in itself sin. Sometimes I wonder if it flows from the instinctive territoriality that we humans share with other species. The problem comes when covetousness takes control of us, causing us to do or say things that take us away from our core desires — our desires to love and be united with and serve God and others. This week let’s just become conscious of all the very human things we desire, and offer our desires to God, so that these desires might be re-ordered by grace and lead us into closer union with God and neighbor.

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; photo by Oyvind Holmstad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.