St. Augustine says that when we read the Scriptures, we should see ourselves “as in a mirror.” Since the Scriptures are the written word of God, they reveal to us in narrative form the depths and heights of human experience, life’s travails and triumphs, human greed and sin, as well as generosity, faith, and love. Though written long ago, if we approach them with the eyes of faith and in a spirit of prayer, the Scriptures have the power to enlighten our minds, yield self-knowledge and awareness, and sensitize us to the wise ways of God in the midst of a fallen and broken world.
The Scriptures this Sunday challenge us to such an awareness. Inscribed into the 10 Commandments (1st Reading) are perennial guideposts for reflection on properly ordering our lives, families, society Have we and do we honor God and neighbor in our daily lives, and in the world we seek to build?—this is their core message. In the second reading, St. Paul boldly proposes “Christ crucified” as the divine answer to a human wisdom overly confident in its own powers. In the Gospel, Our Lord challenges us to “look within” our own Church and selves to the ways in which we have compromised the Gospel by an overly politicized or ideological faith, confusing secular ambition with gospel faith. His cleansing of the Temple drives out the “money-changers” which had infected the Jewish religion of the time, as he re-orients faith around Himself, the “New Temple.”
As we continue through Lent, we ask the Lord to continue to purify our own hearts and minds that we may reflect the wise ways of God in our lives; and may contribute to the reform of the world and the local Church where we live, around authentic Gospel values. May we also find the time to discover God’s wisdom in his written word, able both to discern our faults, and gaze upon the tremendous vocation and plan He has for each of us.