Sunday March 3
Third Sunday of Lent
Allow Jesus to cleanse your heart
  • Exodus 20:1-17
  • Psalm 19:8-11
  • 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

Jesus cleansed the Jerusalem temple, where the presence of God dwelt. By the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been restored from our fallen state. As Christians, we are the temple of God. We have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in us. St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit?”

Jesus in cleansing the temple had to use force. He was acting against the people who were selling and the people who were changing money. This is the interior struggle that we have with ourselves when we try to change. The struggle maybe to come out from our addictions, lust, envy, broken and weak natures and our way of life. Our nature struggles with holiness.

When we come as we are to Jesus, willing to examine our hearts, recognize the truth about ourselves, and with a repentant heart confess the truth, we will be forgiven. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we get the grace to stay away from falling back to the same sin again and again, in addition to the forgiveness of sins. Cleansed by Jesus’ blood we will be transformed, because we cannot on our own become holy.

On the third Sunday of Lent, we are called upon to examine ourselves in a special way: to identify the places in us that are not pleasing to the Lord. Maybe for many years we did not want to deal with those sins. The first reading is a guide for us to examine our conscience. Regarding our sinfulness, we might have casually thought and said to ourselves, “I am fine, I am Ok”. But the Lord is inviting us to a deeper understanding of oneself. Because the book of Revelations says ‘nothing impure will enter the kingdom of God’ (Rev 21:27).

In the second reading St. Paul says that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. We see the face of God in Christ crucified, and he is our hope. We need to gaze on him who is the power and wisdom of God. But until our inner being is cleansed, Christ crucified may not have an impact or any meaning in our lives. Is it a historical incident only, with no power to change our lives? No! it is the power of the cross that is going to change us to holiness which we received as a gift at Baptism. If we allow Jesus to cleanse our inner being from the many idols and sinful desires of life, then we will be able to adore Christ crucified placing him at the core of our being.

PRAYER: Father, may we have discerning minds to know the truth about ourselves and the power to accept the truth about ourselves. Amen.

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