Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

Third Sunday of Lent

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MARCH 7

 

Third Sunday of Lent

 

  1. The House of My Father
  2. True Worship

                                   

Greeting (see Second Reading)

“The crucified Christ

is the power and the wisdom of God.”

May he never be an obstacle or scandal to us.

The Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

 

Introduction by the Celebrant

 

  1. The House of My Father

      If a Christian comes to Mass on Sundays but for the rest of the week doesn’t care about Christ, cheats in business, lies, shows no love, then the religion of this person is not genuine. Our Lord tells us today that true religion, worship in spirit and in truth, unifies our lives in such a way that there is no part reserved for God and another part for ourselves only: God is to be present in all we do, Christ is our companion in all of our life. Let us ask Christ with us here in this Eucharist to inspire all we do and to journey through life with us all the time.

 

  1. True Worship

      Today we proceed on our way of Lent to Easter. We are told how Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple. It might be a good time to ask ourselves: what would the Lord wish to be driven out of us so that we become better Christians? What stands in our way of being closer to him in everyday life? What matters for us Christians is that we are attached to the Lord and close to the people he has entrusted to us. Then we can worship him with our whole life.

 

Penitential Act

There are many times when we have reserved

part of our life for ourselves only.

Let us seek forgiveness from the Lord.

                        (pause)

Lord Jesus, you invite us to encounter you

any time, any place, in any one:

Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, too often we come to church

with hearts too full of our cares

or too empty to pray to you:

Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you want us to worship

in spirit and in truth:

Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,

meet us with your forgiving love

and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray

that we may be God’s holy temple

                        (pause)

We often turn our hearts

into houses of pride and greed

rather than into homes of love and goodness

where you can feel at home.

Destroy the temple of sin in us,

drive away all sin from our hearts,

and make us living stones of a community

in which can live and reign

your Son Jesus Christ,

our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

 

First Reading: The Commandments: Charter of Covenant Fidelity

      God gave his “ten words” to his people not so much as laws to be obeyed than as a charter of their freedom. By following this, they expressed their loyalty to the faithful God of the covenant.

 

Reading 1: Ex 20:1-17

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 carve idols for yourselves
in the shape of anything in the sky above
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,
inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness
on the children of those who hate me,
down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

"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.
Six days you may labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

"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."

 

Or 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."

 

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11.

(John 6:68c) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

 

Second Reading: Is Christ a Stumbling Block?

      To those who look from the outside, Jesus’ death on the cross is either a folly or a failure. But for those who believe, it is the source of life.

 

Reading 2: 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.

 

Verse Before the Gospel: Jn 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

 

Gospel: Toward a New Temple

      Christ purifies the Jewish Temple from being a place that confines God. The Romans will destroy it. For we can encounter the Risen Christ anywhere and he will be the foundation of the new People of God.

 

Gospel: 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.

 

Intercessions

Let us pray to the Lord Jesus who knows what is in the hearts of people, and let us pray to him in spirit and in truth:

      R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

–                   When people look for a God to pray to and to trust, may they may find no other God than the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to worship, to love and to serve, we pray you:

                     R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

–                   When people look for a faith to believe in, let them encounter you, Lord Jesus, listen to what you say and follow what you do, we pray you:

                     R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

–                   When people look for a reliable hope, let them discover your Word to inspire and to guide them, we pray you:

                     R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

–                   When people look for faithful love, let them discover you, Lord Jesus, alive in people, in their words and deeds, we pray you:

                     R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

–                   When people look for a community, let them discover the Church as the house of your Father where they meet your brothers and sisters, we pray you:

                     R/ Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, may we be close to you and love you not only here in this Eucharist but in everything we do and say, for you are our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

 

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord God, our Father,

with the bread of life

and the wine of joy of himself,

your Son will renew your covenant with us.

Let Jesus give us the will and the love

to be faithful to its demands

the way he was faithful to it

even when it meant the cross.

For we wish to give you true worship

through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

Let us give thanks to the Father and with Jesus offer him the worship of our life.

 

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray in Jesus’ words to the Father

that we may all seek and do his will: R/ Our Father...

 

Deliver Us

Deliver us, Lord, from the evil of sin

and from our obstinate self-will

that refuses to listen to you

and to those you have given us as our guides.

Help us to free our brothers and sisters

from our hunger for power and wealth

and from the oppressive structures

that keep them from living as your children.

Help us to prepare in hope and freedom

for the final coming in glory

of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

 

Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus Christ,

our Savior and our Lord,

the power and the wisdom of God.

He was crucified

because he did your will to the end.

Happy are we to receive him

and to be filled with his power and love. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

 

Prayer after Communion

God, our faithful Father

you have given us in this Eucharist

your Son Jesus Christ

to show us in him what loyal obedience means.

Let your Son be alive in us,

so that our Christian community may be

the temple in which he lives

and that gathers us together

as his brothers and sisters.

Keep us from all formalism,

that we may worship you with our lives,

by the power and wisdom of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Blessing

By his words and actions

Jesus has spoken to us today

that we must serve God as he himself did:

in spirit and in truth.

Our everyday living must correspond

to what we believe,

in loyal service to God and people.

We must make ourselves free

for him and people,

in respect and love.

May God bless you and guide you:

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

 

Let us go and build together the community in which Jesus lives.

R/ Thanks be to God.

 

Commentary:

Jesus drove the sheep, the oxen out of the temple and then he overturned the tables of the money changers. What did Jesus mean by his gesture? He simply said that God did not want animal sacrifices, nor any sacrifice because God’s favours cannot be bought. We cannot give anything to God, because his gifts are completely free. To offer something to God to obtain his blessings is a buying and selling or bribing God!

He gives his love freely and when we welcome it, we are happy. We have nothing to give to God. Jesus never spoke of sacrifices to be offered to God. When he spoke of it he said 'I want works of mercy, not sacrifices.' Our liturgies, our songs, our good deeds are a manifestation of our joy of being with Him, of our gratitude for the love He showed towards us, but they give nothing to God.

Jesus has cast out the sellers and the buyers because they are relating with God as if they are on a business deal. At the 8 gates of the temple esplanade, the Levites– the sacristans of those days – conducted a screening of the people to ensure that the blind, the lame, the deformed, the hunchbacked, the paralytics, the lepers and the sinners were prevented from entering the temple. Because they had nothing to offer to God except their own misery, weakness, and their own frailty.

Jesus challenged the Priests and religious authorities, that the current sanctuary is obsolete but Jesus would raise a new one in three days. The Sanctuary was the central part of the building where the Israelites believed that the Lord was; whoever wanted to meet God should go to this sanctuary. But today, the function of the ancient sanctuary is finished. Dismantle this temple, do away with it. Why? Because Jesus is now the sanctuary where God manifests himself. God shows his face is not in a material temple, but in his person. It is in Jesus where we see the face of God. Paul tells us “You forget that the Spirit of God dwells in you, that the same divine life circulates in you, that you are the sanctuary of God, in the risen Christ.

Liturgical Calendar 2021

Liturgical Calendar 2020
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