This homily was given at Old Saint John’s, Silver Spring, Maryland, at a Missa Cantata in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite:
This third Sunday of Lent focusses somewhat on the spiritual warfare, of which we first spoke on Ash Wednesday. In the offertory antiphon at that Mass we recalled the words of Psalm 29, ‘Thou hast taken me under thy protection, and baulked my enemies of their will’. Today, we assess the progress of our campaign against sin and the devil, as we hear of the miracle of the Lord and his mastery over evil.
In presenting these readings the Church guides both those preparing for baptism at Easter, and those – already initiated into her life – who are called in this holy season to return to God’s friendship. Each of us, in these forty days, is challenged to bring ourselves into a deeper and more profound relationship with the Lord and his holy Church, by relying more and more on his grace, and less on our own strength. We are to turn away from our own desires, and desire only the life of Christ for ourselves and the world, in order that we might be made ready for the life of the world to come.