Reflection on the Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent

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Reflection on the Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent

by Sister Dorene King

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out . . . to those who are called . . . Zeal for your house will consume me. These phrases are snippets from the scripture readings for this Sunday. Although it is generally cautioned to avoid the excision of passages of scripture, it appears that these phrases from the three scripture readings for this Sunday build on each other.

I am the Lord your God who brought you out . . . out of slavery. This passage from the book of Exodus reminds the Hebrew people of who led them out of Egypt and who freed them from slavery. It wasn’t Moses and it wasn’t through their own strategic planning that they were delivered or set free. God led the people out and God freed them from the yoke of slavery.

If it had been up to the Hebrew people, they would have stuck to the familiar and not ventured out beyond the boundaries set by others. Even slavery seemed less threatening than facing the unknown.

How many times do we shy away from God’s desire to bring us out from our comfort zones and free us from the slavery to familiarity? Yes, it is scary to venture beyond what we have known and to leave behind our slavery to wanting “my way, our way, and no other way.”

Thankfully, God desires more for us and sometimes literally has to yank us free from our tight grasp in order to lead us out and to free us from ourselves, or from whatever or whoever limits us from going deeper into God’s future for us.

God has brought us out from the confines of familiarity and called us to this place. It’s amazing that God has called us individually and collectively to be here in this community at this time.

[Addressed to the Benedictine Sisters] I invite you to take a minute to reflect upon what brought you to this particular community.


Many whom we thought would journey with us for a longer time have left us and those who were in our group or became close spiritual friends have died. We long for their presence. Thankfully, even in this seeming utter separation from those close spiritual friends, those no longer alive continue to abide with us in the communion of saints. We are forever tied together with the communion of saints both living and deceased. We are united most profoundly in the Eucharist where all from times past and present share this communion. Through the eyes of faith, we are rubbing shoulders with Mother Scholastica Kerst and all who were connected with this community. 

We are called by God to be on this path of life at this time and in this place. God has done great things for us. We need to be willing to trust and to listen intently for the revelation of God’s plan for us at this time. Through our sharing, through our silence, and through our seeking God will show us the path of life.

God has brought us out. God has called us to this place. God has blessed us with the desire and the passion to seek God’s presence here in this place. Zeal for this place and for this community has and will disrupt and transform lives.

Will our witness be obvious to ourselves and to others? A minister asked a group of children in Sunday school, “Why do you love God?” The best response was, “I don’t know. I guess it just runs in the family.”





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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict