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3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Sunday February 28, 2027

Mass Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

If your parish is doing the RCIA scrutinies, use the readings for Year A instead.

  • First ReadingExodus 20:1-17: God delivers the Ten Commandments: worship only Him, avoid idolatry, respect His name, observe the Sabbath, honor parents, and refrain from murder, adultery, theft, lying, and coveting.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 19: Your perfect laws energize and awaken us, Lord. Your principles and commands guide us in truth, showing the way. Your eternal statutes bring justice and enrich our lives.
  • Second Reading1 Corinthians 1:22-25: We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. Yet, to the called, He embodies God's power and wisdom, surpassing human understanding and strength.
  • Gospel John 2:13-25: At Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem and found the temple commercialized. He cleared it, rebuking those who made it a marketplace, fulfilling a prophecy of zeal for God's house. Challenged by Jewish leaders, he spoke of destroying and raising the temple in three days, signifying his resurrection. Many believed in him, but Jesus remained cautious of human nature.

Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.

John 2:16

Themes for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

The readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B help us understand that we must follow God’s commandments and truly live them in our hearts to find life. The first reading gives us the ten commandments. The second reading reminds us that God’s wisdom is not like human wisdom. And the gospel tells of Jesus cleansing the temple of the money changers who put there own desires above serving the Father.

  • The reverence for the temple: The temple was a sacred space for the Jewish people, and it was meant to be a place of worship and prayer. Jesus' actions demonstrate the importance of maintaining the sanctity of the temple and not allowing it to become a marketplace. The importance of worshiping and serving God alone is also emphasized in the first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B. In both cases, there is a focus on the centrality of God in our worship and church practices.
  • The zeal for God's house: Jesus' zeal for God's house is evident in his actions in the temple. As believers, we are called to have a similar zeal for God's house and to prioritize our relationship with God above all else.
  • The purity of heart: Jesus' cleansing of the temple is also a symbol of the purification of the heart. As believers, we are called to strive for purity of heart, which means being mindful of our thoughts, words, and actions, and ensuring that they are aligned with God's will.
  • The significance of the Eucharist: The temple in Jerusalem was a foreshadowing of the true temple, which is the body of Christ. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, and that every time we participate in Mass, we are entering into the presence of God. The Gospel reading reminds us of the significance of the Eucharist and the importance of approaching it with reverence and awe. This also ties in with the first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, which reminds us to keep the Sabbath holy.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B.

Resources for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Sunday February 28, 2027

A Lesson Plan on Participation in Mass
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What Is in Your Church? Lesson Plan on Participation at Mass

As we gather for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, it's crucial for youth to reflect on why they attend Mass. Is the church a sacred space where they encounter God? Or has it become something else? We must ask ourselves if we bring the worries and distractions of the world into the church, allowing them to hinder our connection with God. Let's explore these questions and encourage a deeper understanding of the purpose and reverence we should bring to our church experience.

The Ten Commandments Lesson and Cryptogram
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Printable Ten Commandments Cryptogram

For an engaging activity on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, try this Ten Commandments Cryptogram. This puzzle allows children to decipher the Ten Commandments using a fun and interactive approach. With a provided key, even those unfamiliar with cryptography can participate. By incorporating this activity into your lesson or catechesis, you can help children deepen their understanding of the commandments and their relevance in their lives. It's a great way to make learning about the commandments enjoyable and memorable.

Ten Commandments Dice Game
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Ten Commandments Dice Game

The Ten Commandments Dice Game is a fun and interactive way for children to learn and memorize the Ten Commandments. By turning learning into a game, children are more engaged and motivated to participate. This activity is perfect for catechesis on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, as it provides a hands-on approach to understanding the commandments. Children can roll the dice and match the number rolled to a specific commandment, helping them to internalize the commandments in a memorable way. Incorporating this game into your lesson will make learning about the commandments enjoyable and impactful.

Ten Commandments Activity
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Ten Commandments Activity

This simple Ten Commandments activity for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B will engage children and reinforce their understanding of the commandments. By providing children who already have some knowledge of the Ten Commandments with an opportunity to order them correctly, this activity encourages critical thinking and reflection. Children can be given a set of cards with the commandments written on them and asked to arrange them in the correct order. This hands-on approach allows children to actively participate in their learning and deepen their understanding of the commandments. Incorporating this activity into your lesson will make the learning experience interactive and meaningful.

What Is Moral Law
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What Is “Moral Law”?

"Moral law" refers to the set of principles and guidelines that help individuals discern between right and wrong. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, moral law is considered to be divine in nature, originating from God as a means to guide and instruct us. It serves as a compass for our actions and decisions, providing a framework for ethical behavior. Understanding the concept of moral law is essential for reflecting on the significance of the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, as it prompts us to examine our own moral compass and align our lives with God's teachings.

Praise the Glory of God Based on Psalm 19
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Praise the Glory of God - Based on Psalm 19

For the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, Psalm 19 serves as the responsorial psalm, celebrating God's glory and the wonders He performs. It reflects on how God's perfect laws invigorate and enlighten us, guiding us in truth and justice. This psalm emphasizes the importance of God's commands and statutes in leading a life enriched by divine wisdom and righteousness, urging us to praise God for His unending support and guidance. This day in the liturgical calendar invites reflection on the role of God's law in spiritual awakening and living a life aligned with divine will.

the gospel of john
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Resources and Reflections for the Gospel of John

On the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, the Gospel from John 2:13-25 portrays Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem temple at Passover, an act demonstrating His zeal for God's house and rebuking its commercial misuse. Unlike the synoptic gospels, John's narrative lacks parables and emphasizes Jesus' divine nature throughout. This event, where Jesus foretells His death and resurrection through the metaphor of destroying and rebuilding the temple in three days, highlights His authority and mission. Though many came to believe in Him, Jesus' cautious approach towards human nature is evident, underscoring His divine insight and the unique perspective of John's Gospel on His ministry.

Lenten Ideas for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Visit the Elderly
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Visit an Elderly Relative or a Nursing Home

Visiting an elderly relative or a nursing home on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B can be a meaningful activity for children and teens during Lent. It may feel uncomfortable for children, young and old, who are not used to interacting with senior citizens, as they may feel they have little in common. However, there are simple ways to break the ice and make the visit more enjoyable. Engaging in conversation about shared interests, playing games, or bringing small gifts can help create connections and foster a sense of companionship. These visits provide an opportunity to show love and compassion to the elderly, reminding us of the importance of caring for others.

Blessing bags for the homeless
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Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless

Making blessing bags for the homeless is a meaningful way to practice almsgiving on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B. These care packages, filled with essential items, can provide comfort and support to those in need. Consider including items such as non-perishable food, toiletries, socks, and a handwritten note of encouragement. By donating these blessing bags to a local homeless shelter or outreach program, you can make a positive impact in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. This act of kindness reflects the spirit of Lent, reminding us to show compassion and generosity towards others.

give something you like and use to charity
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Give Something You Like to Charity

When practicing almsgiving on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, it's important to go beyond simply giving away things we no longer want or use. Instead, consider donating something you use frequently and enjoy. This act of sacrifice demonstrates a true commitment to giving and helps us detach from material possessions. By giving away something we value, we are reminded of the importance of generosity and selflessness. So, as you gather items to donate to charity, remember to include at least one item that holds personal significance. Resist the urge to replace it immediately, allowing yourself to fully embrace the spirit of sacrifice.

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See More Lenten Ideas

Looking for more ways to deepen your Lenten journey? Here are some specific ideas for practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B and throughout the Lenten season. Engage in daily prayer by setting aside dedicated time to connect with God. Consider fasting from a particular food or habit that distracts you from spiritual growth. And when it comes to almsgiving, remember that it's not just about material possessions. Offer acts of kindness and service to those in need. By incorporating these practices into your Lenten observance, you can experience a more meaningful and transformative season.

Homilies and Reflections for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Sunday February 28, 2027

An Expression of God's Love

Jeff Cavins reflects on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B readings, focusing on the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20. He suggests viewing these not merely as rules but as expressions of love within a covenant between God and His people. Cavins compares the covenant's stipulations to the commitment and love in a marriage, emphasizing that what outsiders might see as restrictions are, in reality, expressions of a deep, covenantal love. He encourages seeing the commandments as part of a loving relationship with God, rather than as limitations, inviting a deeper appreciation of our faith's richness and the beauty of living it out.

Do Catholics Follow All Those Weird Old Testament Laws?

Fr. Mike Schmitz, addressing concerns about cherry-picking Old Testament laws, explains the distinction between apodictic (universal) and casuistic (case-based) laws, as categorized by Pope Benedict XVI. Fr. Mike simplifies this into three categories: Kingdom laws (specific to Israel's context, now obsolete), temple laws (related to worship in the now-destroyed temple), and moral laws (universal, applicable to all times and places). He emphasizes that moral laws remain relevant, offering purpose, freedom, and joy when followed, contrasting with the constraints and dissatisfaction that come from ignoring God's laws. Fr. Mike invites us to embrace a purposeful life by adhering to these enduring moral laws.

Cleansing the Temple

Bishop Robert Barron reflects on the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, emphasizing the importance of the Temple in Judaism and its transformation in Christianity, where believers' bodies become temples of the Holy Spirit. Drawing on Jesus cleansing the temple and St. Paul's teachings, Barron encourages a Lenten meditation on letting Jesus cleanse our souls. He suggests using the Ten Commandments as a guide for a spiritual spring cleaning, examining our adherence to these commandments as a way to align our lives more closely with God's will. This process, Barron argues, can lead to a deeper dedication to God.

Spiritual Sacrifice

Scott Hahn reflects on Jesus fulfilling, not destroying, the temple, revealing its true purpose in God's plan, as revealed in the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B. He emphasizes Jesus as the Lord who purifies the temple, making it a house of prayer for all. Hahn highlights that God, who liberated Israel, does not reside in man-made sanctuaries nor desires animal sacrifices. Instead, God's law, a gift of divine wisdom and love, is perfectly expressed in Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. Jesus' body is the new sanctuary, and through the Eucharist, believers participate in His offering, called to worship in spirit and truth by offering praise and imitating Christ's self-giving love.

Back to the Fundamentals

Bishop Robert Barron likens Lent to a period of getting back to the fundamentals of faith through the Ten Commandments. In his homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, he suggests using these commandments as an examination of conscience. Barron emphasizes the importance of recognizing what or whom we worship, adhering to God's commandments as central to our spiritual and moral lives. He encourages a thorough reflection on each commandment, using it to prepare for a meaningful Lenten confession, underscoring the opportunity Lent provides for spiritual renewal and deeper alignment with God's will.

More Thoughts for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

The Temple

The gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B takes place in the temple. We must understand that the temple in Jerusalem was considered the most holy place for the Jewish people, and it was a place where they would come to offer sacrifices and worship God. The Israelites believed God was really present in the temple. The sales going on there enabled people traveling from afar to purchase animals for sacrifice. This was a great convenience.

However, the presence of the merchants and money changers had turned the temple into a marketplace, which was not only disrespectful but also a distraction from the true purpose of the temple. Jesus, as the Son of God, recognized this and was filled with a righteous anger that compelled him to drive out the merchants and money changers.

In a similar way, we are called to reflect on this Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B and ask ourselves how we may have turned our own lives into a marketplace, where we prioritize material possessions and worldly pursuits over our relationship with God. Like the merchants and money changers, we may have allowed distractions and temptations to take over our lives, causing us to lose sight of what is truly important.

Fundraisers and youth sports activities are not bad in themselves, but they should not interfere with our attendance at Mass. Our focus must be on the Eucharist. We must not allow what is going on at our parishes to distract us from their central purpose - the worship of God.

We must also recognize that the temple in Jerusalem was a foreshadowing of the true temple, which is the body of Christ. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, and that every time we participate in Mass, we are entering into the presence of God. Let us approach the Eucharist with reverence and awe, just as the Jewish people approached the temple in Jerusalem. Let us also strive to make our own bodies and hearts a worthy dwelling place for Christ, so that we may be a true reflection of his love and mercy to the world.

Pure Hearts

In this gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, Jesus demonstrates the importance of having a pure heart through his actions in the temple. By driving out the merchants and money changers, Jesus was purifying the temple of all that was contrary to God's will. He was removing the distractions and impurities that had taken over the temple and restoring it to its intended purpose as a place of worship and prayer.

As Catholics, we are called to follow in Jesus' footsteps and strive to purify our own hearts and minds. This means being mindful of our thoughts, words, and actions, and ensuring that they are aligned with God's will. We must be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our own weaknesses and faults, and be willing to ask God for forgiveness and guidance.

One way to purify our hearts is through the sacrament of Reconciliation. Through this sacrament, we confess our sins to a priest and receive God's forgiveness and healing grace. This helps us to let go of our past mistakes and start anew with a pure heart.

Another way to purify our hearts is through prayer and reflection. By spending time in prayer and meditating on God's Word, we can allow the Holy Spirit to work within us and transform our hearts. We can also ask God to help us identify areas of our lives that need to be purified, and to give us the strength and courage to make the necessary changes.

Reflection Questions for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

  • Evaluating Distractions in Worship: Reflect on what aspects of your life distract you during Mass. Are these distractions rooted in daily worries, preoccupations with work or relationships, or perhaps the allure of technology and social media? How do these distractions impact your ability to engage with the liturgy and the Eucharist? Consider practical steps you can take to minimize these distractions, such as turning off your phone or practicing mindfulness before Mass begins, to enhance your focus and participation in the celebration.
  • Cleansing Our Parish Community: Inspired by Jesus’ action in the Gospel, take a moment to consider what might need cleansing in your own parish community. Are there practices, attitudes, or behaviors that detract from the sanctity of worship or the sense of community among parishioners? This could range from excessive noise before or after Mass, to a focus on financial matters at the expense of spiritual growth. Discuss with fellow parishioners and church leaders how you might collectively address these issues to foster a more prayerful, welcoming environment.
  • Personal Lenten Commitment: Lent calls us to introspection and conversion. Reflect on areas of your life that may be overshadowing your relationship with God. Are there specific habits, such as excessive use of technology, certain lifestyle choices, or even negative thought patterns, that you feel called to change? Identify concrete actions you can take to simplify your life and focus more on God, such as fasting from certain foods, dedicating specific times for prayer, or engaging in acts of service. How can these practices help you to turn back to God with your whole heart this Lent?
  • Applying the Gospel to Daily Life: The cleansing of the temple by Jesus serves as a powerful metaphor for personal transformation. Reflect on what "merchants and money changers" exist within your own heart and mind—these could be sinful habits, selfish desires, or anything that keeps you from God. Consider how you can "cleanse your temple" this Lent. What steps can you take to eliminate these distractions or impurities? This might involve seeking reconciliation through Confession, engaging in spiritual reading, or dedicating time for silent meditation. How can such actions help purify your intentions and align your will more closely with God’s?

These reflection questions aim to guide you through a meaningful Lenten journey, encouraging a deeper engagement with the themes of the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B, and fostering a closer relationship with God.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

If you use the images below in any form, you must provide attribution to See details.

foolishness of God
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For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
3rd Sunday of Lent Year B
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Jesus in the temple - 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Music Suggestions for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B

Sunday February 28, 2027

As we journey deeper into the Lenten season, the liturgical focus for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B brings us to a pivotal moment of reflection and spiritual renewal. This unique juncture in our Lenten journey calls for a musical accompaniment that resonates with the themes of purification, sacrifice, and divine wisdom revealed through the scripture readings of the day. In this section, we will explore a carefully curated selection of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs. Each piece has been chosen to complement the liturgical themes, enhancing our communal and individual worship experiences.

From the solemnity of traditional hymns that have echoed through the ages to the vibrant expressions of contemporary worship songs, these musical suggestions for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B aim to deepen our connection to the divine, inviting us into a more profound contemplation of God's law of love and the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. Through these musical offerings, may our hearts be drawn closer to the sacred mysteries we commemorate during this Lenten season.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

The next date is Sunday February 28, 2027.
For other years see the links below:
3rd Sunday of Lent Year A: Sunday March 8, 2026
3rd Sunday of Lent Year C: Sunday March 23, 2025

What are the Mass readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

The Catholic Mass readings for Sunday February 28, 2027 are:
First Reading – Exodus 20:1-17: The Ten Commandments
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 19: The Glory of God Revealed
Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 1:22-25: The Paradox of the Cross
Gospel – John 2:13-25: Jesus Cleanses the Temple
If your parish is doing the RCIA scrutinies, use the readings for Year A instead.

What are the main themes of the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

The readings emphasize God's commandments and laws, the wisdom and power of God through Christ crucified, and Jesus' zeal for the purity of worship. They invite reflection on obedience, faith, and the importance of worshiping God in spirit and truth.

How does the first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B relate to our daily lives?

The Ten Commandments, given in Exodus 20:1-17, provide foundational ethical guidelines that are still relevant today. They teach us about the importance of worshiping God alone, respecting sacred things, honoring our relationships, and living with integrity.

What is the significance of Christ crucified in the second reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

Christ crucified, as discussed in 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, represents the ultimate demonstration of God's power and wisdom. Though it may seem foolish or offensive to some, for believers, it is the path to salvation and a testament to God's love and strength beyond human comprehension.

Can you explain the message behind Jesus cleansing the temple in the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

In John 2:13-25, Jesus cleansing the temple symbolizes the need for purity in worship and the rejection of commercialism in religious practices. It underscores Jesus' commitment to honoring God's house as a place of prayer and challenges us to consider the sincerity of our worship.

How can we apply the lessons from the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B readings to our faith journey?

We can strive to live by the Ten Commandments, embrace the wisdom of the cross, and ensure our worship is genuine and focused on God. Reflecting on these readings can inspire us to deepen our relationship with God and live out our faith with integrity.

What is the challenge presented by the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B readings?

The challenge is to recognize the wisdom in what the world might see as foolish – the cross, to uphold the commandments in a world that often dismisses them, and to maintain the purity of our worship in a society that commercializes almost everything.

How do the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B guide us in observing Lent?

They call us to reflection and repentance, urging us to turn away from sin and toward God's commandments. They also encourage us to see Christ's sacrifice as central to our Lenten journey, deepening our understanding of God's love and mercy.

What role does prophecy play in the Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B?

Jesus' prediction of destroying and raising the temple in three days (John 2:19) is a prophetic reference to his death and resurrection. This prophecy challenges us to see beyond the physical temple to the spiritual reality of Christ's body as the new temple.

How do the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B address the concept of idolatry?

The first reading explicitly condemns idolatry, while the Gospel implicitly critiques the idolatry of money and commerce within the temple. Together, they invite us to examine modern forms of idolatry, such as materialism, and to recommit to worshiping God alone.

In what ways do the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B encourage us to honor God in our communities and families?

By adhering to the commandments, especially those regarding honor and integrity, we foster environments of respect, love, and faithfulness. The readings encourage us to build communities and families grounded in the principles of God's kingdom, reflecting His love and justice in our interactions.

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