Third Sunday of Lent, Year B (March 4, 2018): Supernatural Faith

Thứ Bảy, 03-03-2018 | 15:56:24

Today’s Readings:

Exodus 20:1-17
Ps 19:8-11
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:13-25

USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, 
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, 
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables, 
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here, 
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, 
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them, 
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said, 
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, 
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, 
his disciples remembered that he had said this, 
and they came to believe the Scripture 
and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 
many began to believe in his name 
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

Good News Reflection: 

The final paragraph of this Sunday’s Gospel reading is very revealing: Jesus did not “trust” himself to the converts whose faith in him was based on the signs and wonders that he had done. The reason: He did not want anyone to testify (i.e., spread the faith) about the limitations of human nature.

Faith based on signs and wonders is human nature: It’s easier to put faith in what we can humanly see, touch, and hear than to believe in a God who is invisible and who usually sounds very silent. There is nothing supernatural about this kind of faith, but God is very supernatural.

What happens to our faith when we pray and pray and pray for God’s intervention and there are no signs indicating that we’ll get what we want? Our reaction to unanswered prayers is an indicator of how natural or supernatural our spiritual life really is.

Jesus knew that his physical presence was the greatest sign of all, but it would soon be taken away. Don’t we sometimes wish that Jesus would appear in front of us and make himself audible to our human ears? We think it would make our faith stronger.

Typically, we base our faith on many signs: prayers being answered, love being evidenced, peace and happiness filling our hearts, etc. But what happens to our faith when we enter the dark night of trials and difficulties? Do we continue to trust God when we can no longer see or feel signs that he cares?

The kind of faith we need when faith matters most comes from a relationship of trust. Real trust. We choose to trust God for who he really is and how much he really cares, rather than on what the evidence seems to say.

To succeed in this, we need supernatural faith. When we’re united to the divinity of Christ, we join ourselves to his faith. We then trust him so much that we don’t need signs.

Remember this the next time you receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Not only are you consuming his body, you are also uniting yourself to his divinity. And he is uniting himself to you! If you truly believe this, of course there will be miracles, but that is not the greatest gift that he’s sharing with you.

What he wants to give you most of all is HIS ALL.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
Name some of the signs you rely upon that convince you that God is real and that he truly cares about you. How do you feel when those signs are taken away? Are these feelings based on the reality of God’s unending love or on fear?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Have you ever wished that Jesus would appear to you? Why? Did God provide what you needed some other way? How do you remind yourself that God cares during those difficult times when you can’t see it or feel it?

Today’s Prayer:

My Lord, may Your love seduce me in such a way that I no longer need signs and wonders to know how much You care for me. Amen.

© 2018 by Terry A. Modica

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