A Moment before the 3rd Sunday in Lent

You may see part of RCIA at Mass this weekend – the first of the 3 Scrutinies.  The name “Scrutiny” sounds like it’s some kind of public grilling.  But really the Scrutinies are the public part of the parish’s support for the people in RCIA who are preparing for Baptism. 

In the Old Testament reading (Exodus), God’s people are in the desert, they’re angry and ready to stone Moses.  It would be easy for Moses to respond in kind, to lash out at them.  Instead, Moses does the unexpected and prays for them - and God responds to Moses’ prayer, in a way that is just as unexpected. 

The Epistle (Romans) is a beautiful reflection on faith and peace, on God’s grace and love.  Listen closely for the last line.  Because it’s short and to the point it’s easy to miss, but in just a few words it shows us the depth of God’s love, for each one of us. 

After hearing the Epistle, if you wonder what God’s grace and love would look like in practice, you won’t have long to wonder.  The Gospel (John) pulls together the other two readings, showing us the unexpected way that God’s grace and love come together in the life of one who is seeking God.