Third Week of Lent. Readings from March 4, 2018
EX 20:1-17, PS 19, 1 COR 1:22-25, JN 2:13-25
Reflection by Dan Zoeller H’07
This Sunday’s readings are rich in advice. The first reading reviews the 10 Commandments. In the second reading, we are reminded, “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Both of the first two readings also include dire warnings and chastisement to those who fail to listen to God.
The Gospel then gives us a rare view of an exasperated and even angry Jesus, who overturns tables and warns those around the temple to “stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
I don’t know about you, but my first reaction when I’m given a lot of rules and finger wagging is to get defensive. Who are you to tell me what to do? Why are you singling out me? Why are you treating me like a child? And yet . . . when I step back, put my ego in check, and honestly look at my thoughts and actions, I do need redirecting from time to time.
As an administrator, teacher and parent, I’m a big believer in routines and rules which are fair and just. In fact, my experience tells me students like teachers best who can be personable and funny, but who also insist on learning bell-to-bell and hold all students accountable. We all want teachers, parents, and adults who care about us but who also care about us enough to teach us right from wrong. I used to think my parents were way too strict and mean, but today I know they were always fair and loved me beyond measure. Their rules, and their forgiveness when I broke them, formed me into the man I am today.
God and Jesus are the same way. They are in the formation business. Unless we’re perfect, we’d do well to listen to Them. Today, let’s take a deep breath and really listen to what’s being asked of us.