Todays Readings: Third Sunday of Lent
The first reading is hard. This well-known scripture that lays out the Ten Commandments seems pretty fine and straightforward, but it hits me in the gut every time: “thou shall not kill.. thou shall not commit adultery…” It is a painful reminder of how I have turned away from the commandments. It is a painful reminder of the actions which broke my relationship with God and kept me from my child. I went into my own desert, and instead of looking for the angels, I chose the path that ultimately left me broken.
As I approach this Lent, my child would have been turning another year old, but instead of celebrating with him, I’m left here with this reminder of my pain. But the pain of loss was not what God had in mind for me… for any of us. Still, He did not leave me in my pain, dear sister, and He will not leave you.
Because God is good and loving. His commands are for our joy and relationship with Him. As the Psalm reminds us, we are called to this joy, purity, truth, justice, and above all rejoicing hearts in the perfection of God’s law.
Our merciful Father does not leave us in sin and brokenness. His desire for a relationship, His desire for us to experience this joy is found in His Son, who died for our sins and redeemed us through His blood.
Jesus comes to us where we are and loves us where we are. He took on human nature and He understands our inner thoughts, desires, and temptations. He fights for our souls, He redeems our pain, and He feels it for Himself. Jesus clears out the temple and the distractions that keep us from a relationship with Him and His Father. He seeks out our hearts.
For so long, I stood in that busy marketplace “buying” the lies of the world, building a business of selfishness and pride. Jesus found me there. He took on that pain and sorrow, sharing in the most intimate way the nature of my pain. He restored the temple around my life, removing things that kept me from the Father.
His Law is Perfect. His Son is the perfection of this Law. Sisters, how is Jesus calling you to remove the “stands of your marketplace” and barriers to His love? How is He asking you to live out His commands? How is He looking to heal you and bring joy into your life?
Let Him in: Go to Confession, receiving Him in the Most Holy Eucharist. Let Him transform the temple that is your life. Let us follow Him and the perfection of His law and find everlasting rejoicing in our hearts.