A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – CYCLE “B” – 3/8/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum. Peace and goodness to you this day!
There are some people that it doesn’t surprise us anymore, when they go on some crazy, rampage. It doesn’t surprise us because we hear about them tearing things up, causing messes, and creating a stir, all the time. We could probably make a list of celebrities that could fall into this category: Justin Bieber, Johnny Manziel, Charlie Sheen, John McEnroe, Ron Artest, that’s one I almost forgot about, the band Motley Crue, and the golfer John Daly. These folks, and it is interesting that when making a list it comes up all guys, are always seemingly getting into trouble. There’s a trashed hotel room there, another DUI arrest there, and lots of tickets, and fights, and drunken nights all along the way. Maybe we learn to expect bad behavior from some people. Maybe we just get used to it.
So if it had been Charlie Sheen or Justin Bieber who walked into the Temple that day and caused this ruckus, maybe we wouldn’t be so surprised. But it was not Charlie Sheen or Justin Bieber, it was Jesus Christ who walked into the Temple that day, turning over tables, spilling the coins of the money changers, and driving out all those who were turning the Temple into a marketplace. And we are surprised! Make no mistake about it, this is not the nice, peaceful, smiling Jesus sitting on your dashboard, holding a perfect-looking lamb! In fact, this Jesus that is depicted for us in today’s Gospel is pretty much unlike any other description of Jesus that we are going to find anywhere else in the Gospels. And this is exactly why we need to pay extra special attention to what’s going on here. Jesus is very upset. He is angry. And He is as angry as He has ever been, all because the Jewish leaders and the Jewish people have defiled the Temple. They have taken what is supposed to be the Holiest place of all, and made it into just another marketplace.
My brothers and sisters, we would do well to pay close attention to this Gospel reading today. We live in a culture and a society today that in many ways doesn’t even believe in the Holy, let alone respect it!
For far too many today, being in Church, being in God’s presence, and God’s house, is no different than being at a concert, or at the movies, or being at a ballgame. We have lost a respect, an admiration, a reverence, for God and for the Holy. Today we want everything to be equal and everything to be the same. It’s all opinion. And everybody is entitled to have their opinion! Dr. Phil has his opinion. And CNN has their opinion. And President Obama has his opinion. And Kanye West has his opinion. And it isn’t a whole lot easier if God and God’s Church is just another opinion, that we can accept or reject? Yeah, it is easier! And it can get you sent to Hell. Today, Jesus is calling all of us to the Holy, to God, to His Father. And in doing so, Jesus calls us to the Truth. This is not just another opinion. This is God and God’s ways. This is the Holy. We desperately need to learn better to separate the Holy from the profane. They are not the same. And our world today mixes them up all the time!
This is exactly what Jesus is so upset about in our Gospel today. They are treating the Temple just like they treat every place else. And that shouldn’t be. Things should be different in God’s House. Things should be different in here! Our eyes, our minds, our hearts, and our souls. OUGHT to be raised to God. We shouldn’t be thinking about, or worrying about the same things that we do out there. This is holy ground. This is a holy place. And we come here, not for coffee, not for popcorn, not for entertainment, we come here to meet God in our lives.
This Lent, in these days, let us learn a whole new respect and love for the Holy. Let’s let God raise us up to a higher calling. There is so much more that our eyes can’t see! But if we have Faith, if we give God the chance, if we respect and love and honor Him and His Way, we will see whole new worlds! We seek the Holy in our lives. And we will only find it in God!
May God help us to find Him, to love Him and to respect Him this Lent! And may we learn to better differentiate the Holy from the profane!
+ May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!