Meditation for 3rd Sunday in Lent

First Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
Second Reading: First Corinthians 1:22-25
Gospel: John 2:13-25
The 10 Commandments are so familiar to so many people around the world, that their meaning can be glossed over.  People have heard over and over "Thou shalt not kill" or "Thou shalt not commit adultery", but do we really pay attention to all the ways that applies?  We’ve heard "Thou shalt keep holy the sabbath" and "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain", but are they just familiar sayings like "a penny saved is a penny earned", or are they a daily ethic that helps others identify us as belonging to the Lord?  When (if ever) we reflect upon "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me", do we just limit it to pagan vs. Christian, or do we do a self-inventory of everything that has interfered with our devotion to God?
The examination of conscience is absolutely critical to the sacrament of Reconciliation, in the same way that prayer is essential to a life in harmony with God’s will.  We pray, not because God needs to be told what we want or need, but because we need to know what we truly need, and not just what we think we might possibly need, but really just want.  In the same way, the examination of conscience is done not because God doesn’t know what sins we’ve committed, but rather so we realize the ways (and frequency) of how we’ve offended God.
When we are in a state in which we are open to God’s graces of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit makes us aware of the mess we’ve made.  Sometimes, this is done through the sacrament of Reconciliation (the gentle method), but sometimes it is through the trials of life (the not-so-gentle method).  When we go to God in Confession, the Holy Spirit is our instructor.  When life beats us up, it is akin to Jesus whipping the money-changers out of the Temple – God is telling us, rather harshly, that we have to clean the mess in our lives, because we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Pray that God will bless each of us with the graces that enable us to go to Him, rather than Him having to drag us back to Him.  Pray for God’s mercy on those sinners you know, that they will be spared the rod by going to God first.
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