Last week we emphasised the need to be AT Lent, where the Lord God WANTS us to be … and to be there freely and willingly.

So, the closing words of THIS SUNDAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 2: 13 – 25] make a challenging point.

“… he never needed evidence about any man, he could tell what a man had in him.”

At the start of our reflection let us be absolutely clear about one important matter: we do not need to prove anything to God-in-Christ. He does not need evidence … he can tell!

What is IN us as we begin this third week of being AT Lent? Whatever it is, we have nothing to prove. The opening words of OUR NEW TESTAMENT READING [1 CORINTHIANS 1: 22 – 25] communicate something very relevant.

“While the Jews demand miracles, and the Greeks look for wisdom ….”

There exists in all of us a tendency to look for (demand?!) signs of approval from our God. What has happened to faith and obedience? Is the mere fact of knowing that we are genuinely trying to live ‘gospel’ orientated lives insufficient?

Do I KNOW what is in me?

Then, what about this wisdom ‘thing’?

Am I an exception? So often I have to ‘battle’ (go to war against?) the wisdom of the world in which I live, and the wisdom of God’s law together with that of the Gospel norms expressed in the Beatitudes. {how comfortable and content am I about turning the other cheek when society is saying go for the jugular … eye for eye, tooth for tooth?} The example just given in the parenthesis gives a special challenge in relation to Saint Paul’s words about “teaching a crucified Christ …. obstacle … madness …. (and) the power and wisdom of God.”

So, we come to TODAY’S PSALM [18].

“The law of the Lord is perfect,

it revives the soul.

the rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

it gives wisdom to the simple.”

If we go, now, to OUR OLD TESTAMENT READING [EXODUS 20: 1 – 17] we have to ask ourselves whether there is, in fact, anything outlandish, irrational or foolish about the Ten Commandments?

In the first place it is important to learn (from the Commandments) the priorities of God’s wisdom. The Lord himself (herself?!) comes first. The moment the first place is given to someone or anything else the whole ‘system’ begins to creak at the seams. Then, comes the family, the household, those with whom we interact in a daily, ongoing, routine of intimate and personal relationship. Finally, we are directed to norms which govern the interaction with our brothers and sisters in the wider world.

THIS IS THE LAW WHICH IS PERFECT AND SHOULD BE TRUSTED.

The question is – do we trust it? Do we trust “the wisdom of God?”OR, do we think we know better?

We return to our Gospel reading where we encounter the leadership of an entire nation which had slowly allowed other norms of behaviour to become acceptable.

We ourselves have to “stop turning” the established order of priorities so as to live more easily and comfortably.

Of course, the moment we step out of the line of what general society deems appropriate, and we will be challenged. “What sign can you give us to justify what you have done?”

We have mentioned earlier the tendency to expect signs and miracles from the Lord. What about the signs he might be expecting from us?

In so many ways, instances and circumstances we need to be more public – otherwise, we should not be surprised (miffed?) that Jesus Christ does not trust himself to us?