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Third Sunday of Lent

March 11, 2012

JMJ

Blessed Little Easter!

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, forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer from today’s Mass)

Readings:
Exodus 20:1-17 (the Ten Commandments)
Psalm 19:8-11 “Lord, You have the words of everlasting life”
I Corinthians 1:22-25 (God’s folly is wiser than our wisdom;
His weakness stronger than our power)
+John 2:13-25 (the cleansing of the temple)

Destroy this temple
and in three days I will raise it up
-John 2:19

You’re crazy!
(so say the Jewish leaders)

No, actually, we’re the crazy ones,
destroying God’s temple (ourselves)
by disregarding God’s law.

Are you not aware that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.
For the temple of God is holy,
and you are that temple.
-I Corinthians 3:16-17

The whole point of the commandments
is to give us the advantage of God’s wisdom,
so far beyond our own,
to build us up.

Left to our native foolishness,
we tear ourselves down.

Wisdom builds her house,
but Folly tears hers down with her own hands.
-Proverbs 14:1

Thank God…

The foolishness of God
is wiser than human wisdom
-I Corinthians 1:25

That’s why the Psalmist sings:

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the Lord is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart…
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
-Psalm 19:8-9, 11

Neither wealth nor pleasures benefit a fool.
Easy come, easy go–
lost somewhere in the rubble of his ruined house.
God’s law is indeed more precious than a heap of purest gold,
sweeter than honey from the comb!

We need wisdom.
We have it…
if only we would apply it!

But we don’t.
Not always.
We turn our desires into idols, and they betray us.
We neglect the Sabbath and burn out.
We turn against each other in pride and anger, greed and lust.
We destroy our temple with our own hands.

Thank God, that’s not the end!

Destroy this temple
and in three days I will raise it up
-John 2:19

Yes, Jesus was talking about the temple of His own body…
but we are His Body! (see I Corinthians 12:27-28)

He who raised up the Lord Jesus
will raise us up along with Jesus
and place both us and you in His Presence
-II Corinthians 4:14

Whenever we share in Christ’s death
through Confession
we share in His resurrection.

He raises up the temple
–us!–
that we have destroyed.

How has folly compromised the integrity of your temple?
Which words of divine wisdom do you most need to apply?
If you have sweets today (in honor of it being a “Little Easter”!),
remind yourself, “Obeying God’s law is sweeter than this!”

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