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Third Sunday in Lent – Cycle B

Reflecting on John 2: 13-25

I always get a chill when I read the last lines of today’s gospel: Jesus knew human nature well.

Oh, dear. What do you know about us, Jesus? Since you were absolutely human, did you share in the nature of our deep human need to protect those we love?

When you wept over Jerusalem, you cried that you longed to gather her children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but they were not willing to be gathered (Mt. 23:27).

And when the soldiers of the high priest came to arrest you in the Mount of Mount of Olives, you asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” And you answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go” (John 18:8).

And, in Matthew’s account of this same event, when the men stepped forward, seized you and arrested you, one of your companions (and we know from John’s gospel that it was Peter) “reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.”

 “Put your sword back in its place,” you said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Mt. 26: 51,52). 

And it’s Luke, of course, who gives us the rest of the story, which shows your compassion for ALL people, even though arresting you and taking you to your terrible death: “Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him” (22:51). 

Ah! That’s the human nature we long for, Jesus. The nature that forgives, and heals, and puts our swords away. Gather us, Jesus. We are willing.

How are you working to heal gun violence in our country?

Kathy McGovern ©2024

Lent - Cycle B

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