Lent Week 3
March 7, 2021
This week the Sunday Readings are focused on the presentation of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites, the challenge of Jesus’ suffering, and his zeal to preserve the temple as the image of God’s presence in the midst of the people. The Ten Commandments are given to the people sealing the Sinai Covenant: God will be their God and they, by following the Commandments, will be God’s people. St. Paul describes Jesus crucified as a stumbling block for those unable to see beyond what appears to be foolish and weak. In the gospel reading, Jesus declares that his body will replace the Temple, proclaiming a new understanding of the Temple, and of God’s presence in the midst of the people.
The invitation to grow in faith, to move beyond our comfort zone, is a lifelong invitation. Growing in our relationship with the Trinity is an on-going process and always involves newness. Think reflectively about one (or each) of the readings:
How does it encourage you to deepen your relationship with the Trinity?
What does it challenge you to risk in order to be more intimately related to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Through baptism we enter into the life of the Trinity. Reflect on what it means to be a temple of the Holy Spirit:
How do you treat yourself as a “temple of the Holy Spirit?
How do you treat others as “temples” of the Holy Spirit?
A Family Prayer Starter
Give us new eyes, Lord, to see our lives in the light of your love.
Too often our fear, neediness, anger, or hurt fog our vision.
Help us to see your providence in the glory of trees, lakes, and cloudless skies.
Help us to see your generosity in the many gifts we enjoy each day.
Help us to see your wisdom in the rhythm of the days, the weeks, the seasons, and the years.
Help us to see your image in the faces of everyone we meet and to know your goodness in the joy and love we feel for one another.
We ask you this because we know you love us. Amen.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries of the universe in relation to eternity.
Spirit of right judgment and courage,
guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision to follow Jesus' way of love.
Spirit of knowledge and reverence,
help us to see the lasting value of justice and mercy
in our everyday dealings with one another.
May we respect life,
as we work to solve problems of family and nation, economy and ecology.
Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day.
Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which penetrates all creation.
Oil is a symbol used lavishly in the celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and to anoint the altar during the Rite of Dedication of a Church and Altar. Be more aware of the altar as a symbol of God’s presence in the midst of the people. Renew your acts of reverence in church and be more attentive to God’s presence in your interaction with the living church, the Body of Christ.
The Ten Commandments are used by some people as an examination of conscience when preparing to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Review them and resolve to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with anyone you may have offended.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance is an opportunity to restore and renew our relationships with the Trinity and with each other. Refresh your understanding of the process of preparing for the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance by visiting this link from the USCCB.
Many parishes schedule communal Penance Services during Lent and additional opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. Plan to participate in a celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, either individually or as a family. Find a Church