Third Sunday of Lent - Also called the Sunday of scrutinies – We have the examination of the neophytes on this coming Wednesday - Station at St. Laurence outside the walls - thus there are references to calls in distress as at Introit and even the Collect.
We must benefit from these dispositions that are put forward - Examine how we have been keeping Lent, are we followers of God as St. Paul commands us to be in the Epistle - or are of the children of unbelief.
These questions are raised by the liturgy for the benefit of those about to examined prior to baptism at Easter. Do they conform to Christ or not? Also for our benefit, for the liturgy is the preparation for the new life with the saints in heaven where we shall partake of the eternal Liturgy of Praise and Thanksgiving.
St. Laurence fought the good fight, he finished his course he kept the Faith. Shall we too be Faithful to the end?
Are we with Christ of Against him? He who gathereth not with me scattereth, as we see today in the Gospel. Are we really all for God? Does God have a place in our lives? We read in the Psalms, “God looked down from heaven on the children of men to see if there were ant that sought him, and there were none.”
St. Laurence loved God even to the loss of his life, he saw what the true treasures of the Church were, not the precious vessels nor the beautiful vestments, but the poor to whom Our Lord Jesus Christ came to preach the Gospel.
So now that Lent is almost half way complete let us examine how well we conform to Christ, let us scrutinize our resolutions, and see how faithful we have been to our resolve.
But beware if we think we do well, because we have the Faith and are by all appearance a follower of Our Lord. For the disciples were followers of Our Lord, and they wanted people to know it, as we see in the corresponding chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel
“ As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. And one said unto him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee. But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
No, let us be humble, and imitate the most Blessed Virgin, who was not blessed merely by the fact of being Our Lord’s Mother but for the fact of being faithful to the end, “If you love me keep my Commandments” Love is shown not only in word but in deeds, as St. James tells us. “ But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”
Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Martyrs for the strength to be faithful in our small resolutions, that we may be found faithful, if God should he ask of us of great things.