Our Lenton Season

Lent is a period of preparation before celebrating the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.

Annual Lenten Bible Study

Around The Lenten Circle

February 18, 2024 - March 24, 2024

View and download the materials below:

During Sunday School @ 9am Phone & Video conference. All Sunday School will join together for this study.

Lent is a period of preparation before celebrating the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter

March 3, 2024 • Third Sunday of Lent • Year B

“Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” John 2:16
OPENING PRAYER:
Reader: Gracious God, be with us now.
All: Send your Holy Spirit to enliven and guide our conversation.
Reader: Give us the inspiration to speak the words that others need to hear.
All: Open our minds and hearts to hear the message you have for us today.
Reader: Inspire us during this time together.
All: so that we may go out from here strengthened to share your good news.
Reader: We ask this all in Jesus’ name. All: Amen.

SHARING

Last week we reflected on the puzzling and disturbing near-sacrifice of Isaac. We also discussed the Gospel story of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain top and how we might experience him as both human and divine.
1. Describe any further reflections you’ve had about the possibility of God asking you to sacrifice something that is dear to you.
2. Do you feel any greater willingness to trust God by listening to Jesus after reflecting on the Transfiguration?

LISTENING: EXODUS 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
We keep it holy (which means set 3-3 apart, or different) by doing things differently on Sunday than we do the other six days of the week. It is tempting to say we have done our duty to honor the sabbath just because we have attended mass on Sunday. But God’s commandment isn’t focused on attending a worship service. God’s commandment is about resting; specifically, resting from work and creating an environment where everyone in the society gets to rest. Often our orthodox Jewish brothers and sisters are much better at this than we are. Not only do they avoid doing paid work, but they arrange to do the week’s laundry, cooking, and yard work ahead of time so that the Sabbath really is a full day of rest, renewal, and re-creation.
The first reading today lists the 10 commandments, most of which we think of as “thou shalt nots.” “Thou shalt not kill… thou shalt not steal... thou shalt not commit adultery…” etc. A few of them, however, are phrased positively, like the third commandment highlighted here. “Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.” How do we do this? We keep it holy (which means set

SHARING

1. How do you currently spend your Sundays-or if you have to do paid work on Sundays, how do you spend another weekly day off?
2. What are your memories of how you spent your Sundays as a child? Were there any traditions that were important to your and/or appreciated by you?

3. When you have set aside Sundays for something special in the past, what have been the graces that have come from it?

REFLECTION: JOHN 2:13-17

Imagine a man entering your church in a rage and waving a weapon to chase all the ushers, alter servers, eucharistic ministers, and priests out of the building. Picture that person flipping over the tables that were displaying flyers about the upcoming Crab Feed and Bingo nights. Finally, imagine him finding the collection baskets and throwing their contents across the floor while he shouts that his father’s house is being dishonored.
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
It would be a shocking and probably terrifying scene which is how Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple would have been experienced during his time. Temples, synagogues, churches, and mosques are supposed to be places of peace, prayer, and good behavior, aren’t they?

SHARING

1. What would you think and how would you react if someone came into your church and did what Jesus did in the Temple?
2. Are there ways in which your parish has strayed from it’s mission of preaching Jesus’ way of life? Has it become a “marketplace” in any respect? How so?

3.What would you like to see your parish do to return to the central mission of Jesus: to love and serve our neighbors?

CLOSING PRAYER

All: Gracious God, thank you for this time to step away from our daily business to rest and reflect on you.
Help us to make more time in our lives to allow you to restore our souls.
We pray that this coming week we may have our eyes opened to new possibilities.
We pray this in confidence, knowing that you are the Light of the World. Amen.

Copyright © 2024 Ann Naffziger. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Published by The Pastoral Center / PastoralCenter.com. Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

40 Days with Jesus . . .