Scripture Reflection . . .
Third Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19 “Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Gospel: John 2:13-25
At the end of today’s Gospel Reading John writes that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He understood it well.”
First, this is a reminder to me that Jesus was fully human and thus had a full experience of what is our human nature. There is something about human nature that is never satisfied and leads us to longing for more. Thus the list of “Thou shall nots” in today First Reading from Exodus and perhaps why the “marketplace” invaded the temple in the Gospel. This longing is from the truth that we are not complete without God. Sometimes, painful as it is, we realize that despite the more stuff we accumulate, the emptiness and longing remain. Now this is where the gift of consciousness can be recognized and appreciated. This gift is what Jesus longed to show us – that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We can make choices to love our enemies, embrace those who are different, give away all that we think we have, and follow Jesus.
However, in the recent violent events in our country and world demonstrate that we are animals in our flight or fight responses . When this gift of consciousness, the awareness of our goodness and the goodness of others, has been oppressed, damaged or never allowed to mature because of life experiences we continue to respond from our primitive instincts.
God’s invitation today: “Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.” In another place Jesus says that the sabbath was made for us not us for the sabbath (Mark 2:27). This could be a commandment simply because we as human beings need rest. Everything in creation has a need for sleep, rest, renewal. However in our longing for more we fill up time, we wear ourselves out and we then run on primitive reactions, rather than thoughtful conscious decisions and responses.
Sabbath is also a call to focus on God, to reverence the sacred, to respect our dependence on God; to respect our divinity. When we slow down we no longer concentrate on our efforts. We begin to notice the emptiness and the longing. And if we stay in that emptiness long enough we might begin the notice another truth. We have everything we need. God created us complete, we just need to go deeper into this truth. Not “more” only “deeper”
As Jesus was both fully human and divine, we who are made in the image and likeness of God are called to embrace our divinity. It’s already who we are.
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Redeemer. . .
Making space for sabbath time is integral in deepening our relationship with Our Redeemer and our relationships with one another in community and all those we encounter in our ministries. Therefore we take time each day for prayer; each Sunday to slow down, pray and rest; each month for a day of prayer; each year for week long silent retreat.
In Your Life . . .
May this Season of Lent be a Sabbath time for you. A time to slow down your body, mind and spirit so you can notice and let God draw you deeper into the truth of God’s love for you and your own divine capacity for love and mercy.
Make plans to set aside sabbath time. Perhaps it is 15 minutes each day to sit in silent prayer with God, choosing not to work one day a week, taking leisure time with family, taking a long walk and noticing what is around you; journaling . . .
Let the thinking slow down and listen to your heart; Listen to your human and divine nature; listen to the God who created you.
Blessings on your week!