Third Sunday of Lent
March 7, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Ex 20:1-17 / Ps 19 / 1 Cor 1:22-25 / Jn 2:13-25
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A story is told about two altar servers who, one Sunday morning, while waiting for the Mass to begin, noticed that the priest was wearing a vestment in a color that was out of the ordinary. One of them said, “It is quite unusual that Father is wearing a pink robe today.” The other corrected him, saying, “It’s rose, not pink.” “How do you know?” the first asked. He answered, “Because Jesus ROSE from the dead; he didn’t PINK from it.”
Even during the season of Lent, Sunday is always considered “Little Easter.” We always celebrate the day that Jesus rose from the dead. In fact, the whole season of Lent is an ascent to the mountain of Easter.
But, of course, it is also a penitential season, where we put emphasis on cleansing ourselves of our sins, just as Jesus cleansed the temple of all the things that didn’t belong there. Sin surely has no place in our lives, because sin and God just can’t be in one soul at the same time.
That is why, at the beginning of each Mass, where we have the privilege of being in God’s presence and receiving the Blood, Body, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus, we always begin our celebration with a penitential rite. We ask our Lord’s forgiveness for the sins we have committed, so we will be worthy to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
St John the Evangelist, in today’s gospel, related to us that, while Jesus was driving out the people conducting business in the temple area, His disciples recalled the words of the scriptures, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” When the Lord said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” the Evangelist made it clear that He was talking about the temple of His body.
In his First Letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do you know that you are a temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwells within you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.”