3rd Sunday of Lent – Family Catechesis using Liturgical Bible Study

Christian Affirmations and Personalized Bible Scriptures

Gospel

Historical Background: Jesus had started his public ministry in Judea only recently, had chosen his first disciples, and had just performed his first miracle at Cana. (See Jn 1:29-2:12) As the Passover feast was drawing near, he went to Jerusalem not just on pilgrimage, like all other good Jews, but to begin his mission in the Holy City. He did so in quite a startling manner.

Introduction: Today’s passage focuses on :
a) Jesus’ prophetic stance against the “commercialization” of worship that had been going on for centuries in the vicinity of the Temple, and

b) the reaction of the Jewish authorities to his intervention

Jn 2:13-25

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
many began to believe in his name
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

1st Reading

Historical Background: Through Moses, the Lord had set the Israelites free from slavery of Egypt and was now leading them toward the “Promised Land”. It was part of His plan to stipulate with them an alliance or covenant aimed at perpetuating the saving and liberating relationship He had started with the Exodus event. As part of the “preparation” for the ratification of the Covenant, the Lord gave Moses “Ten Commandments” which contained the basic terms to be met by the Israelites as a sign of their gratitude to the Lord. The commandments also spelled out what the members of the “Chosen People” were expected to do in order to remain from all forms of slavery.

The proclamation of the Commandments was an indispensable preliminary to the stipulation of the Alliances between the Lord and the people of Israel. This very important episode in the history of the “Chosen People” was an essential part of the “Sinai Event” which started with the arrival at Sinai. (Exodus 19:1), and ended with the ratification of the Covenant by the people (Exodus 24: 5-8)

Introduction:Today’s passage is the abridged form of the text known as the “Ten Commandments” or “The Decalogue” (literally, th “TEN WORDS”) , which lists the essential duties of the people as their counterpart in their Alliance with the Lord.

The Church has based on this text the summary, popularly known as “Ten Commandments” which, together with the “Sermon on the Mount” and other parts of the New Testament are the backbone of her moral teaching.

Jn 2:13-25 Ex 20:1-3, 7-8,12-17

In those days, God delivered all these commandments:
“I, the LORD am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
the one who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Honor your father and your mother,
that you may have a long life in the land
which the Lord, your God, is giving you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass,
nor anything else that belongs to him.”

2nd Reading

Historical Background: The community of Corinth was deeply split into different factions, each proclaiming its allegiance to on e apostle or another. Paul felt hurt by such divisions which were a clear sign that many in the community had forgotten the unique central role of Jesus Christ.

Introduction: In today’s few verses, the Apostle emphasizes the basic truth that Christ (crucified) is “the power of Gd and the wisdom of God” (v. 24). It is in Him, in fact, that God manifests both his unmatched wisdom and His conquering strength.

1 Cor 1:22-25

Brothers and sisters:
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

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