for Sunday, March 8, 2015
We proclaim Christ crucified! Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God! The First Letter to the Corinthians is very clear about what we Christian believe and what we proclaim about our belief. This Third Sunday of Lent, we proclaim Jesus by our lives but also by our words. If we are not ready to proclaim Him, we need to ask for more faith.
The Book of Exodus, from which our first reading today is taken, speaks about Moses on the mountain with the Lord, receiving what today we Christians call the Ten Commandments. We also know that at first, when Moses received these teachings, the people below were in complete rebellion. Who is going to believe a crazy religious leader who goes onto a mountain and stays there praying? The people at the time of Moses are normal humans who want food and drink and fun and some assurance that everything will work for their good.
Probably none of the people at the time of Moses could have imagine a crucified Savior. It is only later that the prophets begin to speak about a person suffering and saving others. And even although we ourselves are used to speaking about Jesus crucified, it is still difficult for us to imagine a person in jail or prison becoming somehow a person who might help us or save us. The First Letter to the Corinthians has to be blunt in order to get our attention.
For people in the time of Jesus, it must have been a real challenge to see Jesus entering the temple and telling the money changers to get out. So many of us, as religious people, want the laws to be clear and we want people to do what is right. On the other hand, ordinary people don't often do everything right and it is just for them that Jesus comes. Jesus is completely clear that He becomes one of us in order to save sinners - not the righteous. Our title to salvation is always the same: we are sinners.
Our challenge as sinners is always the same: love one another, do not judge one another, look to be faithful to God rather than look at the failings of your sisters and brothers. Our calling is to love God and to love one another, especially our enemies.
Once we start to judge, we can find all kinds of ways to judge one another. Let us not go there. Our personal challenge is always to love and serve others, no matter how the other lives, no matter how the other things and no matter if the other is totally against us while saying that he or she is for us. Jesus understands human nature, and so would not put Himself into the hands of others. Rather, He walked alone in the service and love of God.
Sisters and brothers, let us walk with the Lord today and seek God's will. Let us love and not judge.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Exodus 20.1-17
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1.18, 22-25++
Gospel: John 2.13-25
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: