In the Gospel for this third Sunday of Lent, we see how the Lord Jesus challenged the Jews to “destroy the temple” and he would raise a “new temple”. During this Lent, we are also challenged and invited to look inside our temple, our body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. With the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to see what needs to be destroyed in us to allow Christ during this coming triduum of Easter to build something new in us.

The readings for this Sunday have helped me realize the importance of cleansing the temple, cleansing my spirit so that the Lord can dwell in me. For us Catholics, we can have our cleansing through the sacrament of reconciliation and acts of penance to start a new life. The readings can also help us to reflect on our relationship with God, who loves us. God’s commandments and precepts serve as our guide to deepen our relationship with God, with our fellow humans and with nature.

In this year of prayer, we are all invited to intensify our life of prayer. May we find time to seek the God, who dwells in our hearts. Being temples of God, we sanctify our body, so we may be a worthy dwelling place of God where we and God can meet. Is it not wonderful? Is this not our longing and desire to live in the house of the Lord till the end of our lives? Let us find nourishment then in moments of prayer and moments of listening to God, who has the words of everlasting life.

During the remaining weeks of Lent, we ask for God’s grace to cleanse the temple of our souls and to free our hearts from all kinds of stumbling blocks that hinder God’s presence from dwelling in our hearts. We continue to examine ourselves and our interiority to see how we relate with this God who loves us so much and wants to dwell within our being.

Finally, I invite you to the way our Father founder invited his daughters to enter the temple of our soul and to remain there in silence and listen to the voice of God. The complete details of this instruction of our founder can be found in his letter to Eugenia Guerin recommending growth in interior life through constancy in prayer and self-denial.

May we be able to find a quiet place to enter into the temple of our soul and ask Jesus to accompany us to see what He needs to destroy in us so that He can build something new in us. Amen!

Claire Marie R. Sy, CMT
Manila community