Third Sunday of Lent

Sunday, March 7th


Ex 20: 1-17
Ps 19:7-14
1 Cor:1: 22-25
Jn 2: 13-22


For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Cor. 25

What a conundrum this brief passage from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians offers us! It is representative of all four readings for this third Sunday of Lent. As I reflect on them, amidst the current pandemic numbers rising in the USA, I think how people may see paradox and pandemonium as woven into the fabric of our lives now, like never before. We have never seen this chaos in our lifetimes. God’s Wisdom, where is it? God’s Weakness, where is it? We look directly at the crucified Jesus when we hear of suffering and death, God’s way of creating new life.

Following the law in the old dispensation meant establishing order and covenant and renewed life in the time of the Israelites’ captivity. We too may have felt captive to the ravishes of sickness and insecurity, violence and disorder lately. Yet God’s Covenantal Love prevails through it all as we follow new health guidelines and care for each other, speaking out for justice and truth to prevail. In Psalm 19, the Holy One is called Rock and Redeemer by the faithful followers of the law. Can we call God by these strong names?

Jesus’ seemingly violent scourging of the animal sellers in the Jerusalem temple may appear uncharacteristically cruel. Yet, righteousness and justice must be reestablished in the House of Prayer. The greedy sellers are money-grubbing extortionists, oppressing the poor Jews who come to worship their Holy One. He must send the sellers running for their lives. They are weak and he is strong in this instance.

Foolish God, bringing right order and truth and care. Wise Jesus, facing his suffering and death and resurrection head on, without any whining or begging for mercy. In another famous scripture passage Paul announces he is strongest when he is weakest. Really? We have all the rest of Lent and beyond to practice trust, trust in the Benevolent Wisdom of God, in Christ. Let us begin again.


Crucified Christ, I want to trust in you to see me/us through all suffering and death itself. Resurrected Christ, I want to embrace New Life whenever I see glimpses or full- blown Justice and Love prevail in our world. So be it. Amen.

Personal Challenge

Harvest wisdom, peace, and love in all our relationships, large and small. Breathe non-violence into our world.

Sister Janet Franklin, CSJ
New Roads, LA

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