3rd Sunday of Lent

Lenten Journeys

3rd Sunday of Lent

This Sunday, we reflect on today's readings with Sr. Rachel O'Riordan

04 March 2018

3rd Sunday of Lent

Through this week in Lent, we introduced you to Therese, who has been accompanied by JRS UK for many years and during her time in detention.

For anyone seeking asylum in the UK the fear of being taken to detention is part of their everyday. Therese was at her home when she was unexpectedly taken by immigration enforcement late at night and transported to one of the UK’s Immigration Removal Centres. Therese did not know how long she would be detained for, whether she would be placed on a flight back to her country or if she would be released.

Through her powerful faith in God, Therese was able to stay positive in spite of the stressful situation she was put in. “I left everything in the hands of God … only God almighty can see you through and set you free.”

Today as we reflect on the Sunday Mass readings, we remember that through the times of doubt and difficulty, God is present and seeks to guide us.

Together we may make our pilgrim journey

Sr. Rachel O’Riordan, one of our volunteers, reflects on each of today’s readings. We invite you to join her in a space of prayer and reflection:

As Lent progresses and we approach the midway point our good resolutions and the first fervour of Ash Wednesday may begin to falter. Perhaps we are like the Israelites and feel that we are ‘wandering in the wilderness’ with no clear identity or destination. In days of doubt or desolation God continues to seek us out and call us back into communion with our fellow travellers so, that, together we may make our pilgrim journey to the promised land.


He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’

Exodus 20:1-17
Simply put, the ten commandments are the foundation principles which underpin our beliefs. They may be condensed into two key themes, which are simple but profound: love and reverence for God and love and reverence for our neighbour. In our rather chaotic world they serve as a moral compass and give us direction helping us to live ‘good, holy and honourable lives’. The message to the Israelites on their journey to the promised land was a reminder that they should remain in a close relationship with God and help to build a kingdom of justice and peace.

In a fragmented world let us examine again the challenges which are set before us, to be the builders of justice and peace in our own families and communities.


“… but to those who have been called, … a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God

1 Corinthians 1:22-25
St Paul exhorts the Corinthians to recognise that the weakness of God is far stronger than that of humans and the foolishness of God is far wiser than the wisdom of humans. A hard lesson for a society which prizes excellence.

Then his disciples remembered the words of the scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me.

John 2:13-25
Jesus was angry at the desecration of the temple but maybe more angered because the people were blind and deaf to his message. Our hearts are the temples of the Holy Spirit, but they too are desecrated by the clutter within, which obscures the presence of that same Spirit.   How often do we misunderstand one another and turn away from an encounter simply because someone holds another opinion? Lent is an opportunity to review our lives, it is a time of special grace when we can give ourselves the necessary space to examine what we are being called to, which is first and foremost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and make him known and loved.
If we do just one thing today, we renew our efforts to welcome the stranger ‘for by so doing, we have often entertained angels unaware’. (Hebrews 13:2)


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JRS UK are grateful to Therese for sharing her story with us. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Image credit: Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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