Sunday, March 4
Third Sunday of Lent
John 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.
Jesus in the gospel has three conversations with Nicodemus. He is a leader of the Jewish governing body in Jerusalem. He comes to Jesus by night so he will not be discovered by the Jewish leaders and thus become an outcast by them. He comes because he is curious and because Jesus has overtaken his heart. He struggles, but is sincere in trying to come to faith. Tradition holds that he later became a believer, after the Resurrection of Jesus.
For the gospel of John, the image of the serpent in the desert would be known to Nicodemus and the story told repeatedly. Jesus in the gospel of John who like the golden serpent, is also lifted up on a pole (the cross) and brings healing and also redemption to the people of the world.
So we look to the Cross as a saving and loving event that brings us to eternal life.Monsignor Hendricks
OPERATION RICE BOWL STORIES OF HOPE: WEEK 3
Care for God’s Creation
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Care for God’s Creation, we remember that God created every plant, every mountaintop, every animal-everything. And God said that these things are good. We find God in these good things, and so we must take care of creation-for ourselves and for our entire human family.
The dry and dusty climate of Burkina Faso means farming can be difficult. It means water can be hard to come by. And it means Safiata and her family often face hunger. Even though she had two plots of land to farm, the many months each year without rain made feeding her 9 children and 16 grandchildren a real challenge.
That’s why Catholic Relief Services is providing farmers like Safiata with more land to grow crops-like onions-that thrive in dry climates. And thanks to a CRS-sponsored irrigation system, she knows she’ll have access to water year-round. That means her crops will grow, and she’ll be able to sell some at the market. “I pay school fees thanks to selling the vegetables. The vegetables help solve the problems my family faces,” Safiata says.
Moreover, she can prepare for the future. Together with others, Safiata is putting a little of the income she earns from selling her crops at the market into a community savings pool. “If you face difficulties, the community will help you,” she says. Those who contribute can borrow money from the fund for emergencies, school fees for their children, or to build businesses.