A Note on Today’s Readings | Third Sunday in Lent — Year B
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
The ultimate saving action of God, in the dying and rising of Jesus, was preceded by a series of salvation events in the history of Israel. Today, in that series of events, we reach the most important of the Old Testament actions of God, the time of the Exodus when Israel is definitively established as the chosen people and God makes the Covenant with the people at Mount Sinai. God’s salvation of Israel requires a response by the people which is described in the Decalogue (Ten Commandments). Note that the grounds for these commandments is stated at the beginning, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
In the second reading, Paul speaks of the true wisdom which brings salvation. Rather than human wisdom, God places before us what seems to be foolish, the crucifixion of Jesus. In the dying and rising of Jesus, God showed that the divine power is greater than any human power or wisdom.
The Gospel reading is John’s account of Jesus cleansing the Temple. That event may be taken as an image of Christ cleansing us from sin in Baptism. We are the continuation of the ancient people of God who were saved in the Exodus and given the Commandments. In the dying and rising of Jesus, salvation has been extended to all people. Through Baptism, we have become part of Jesus’ Body and have died and are being raised with him. We use this time of Lent to recall all that God is doing for us in Jesus, and to prepare for the renewal of our redemption at Easter.