By Sister Natalie DeLuca, MHSH
[Readings: Ex 20:1-17; Ps 19:8-11; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25]
We are at the half-way mark. Lent’s goal of deepening one’s relationship with Christ challenges each of us to answer the haunting question: Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Paul was not present at the Crucifixion. He did not literally witness Christ’s death on the cross. But Paul’s faith has given him the strength of conviction. In his lifetime, he has experiences that seem, to the people of his time to be obstacles or madness.
In this first letter to the Corinthians (from which the Second Reading for this Sunday is taken), Paul admits that faith in Jesus Crucified is beyond understanding.
What gives Paul that assurance, that unshakeable conviction in Jesus Crucified is not an obstacle, not nonsense, not madness? It is the gift of the Spirit. He accepts this gift of wisdom. God’s wisdom is not the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of the world is alien to things of God. God’s wisdom, Paul asserts is holiness, virtue, freedom.
Was Paul there when they crucified my Lord? No. Paul was not a physical eye witness. He was a witness in Faith. And Paul realizes that with this gift comes the realization that this Spirit of God that dwells within him must reach out to others. And so that is what he does.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? No. Yet, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and like Paul, you come to realize that with this gift comes the realization that the Spirit of God dwells within you and me and we are compelled to reach out to others.