2 March, 2024 16:05

Father Rick’s Three-Minute Homily for 3rd Sunday in Lent,

March 3, 2024, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/030324-YearB.cfm

Better to whip obstacles than people.

The pastor of a poor parish got a call from the IRS, "Are you the pastor?" The voice on the phone asked. "I am," he replied. "Do you know a Bob Weaver? Is he a member of your parish?" "Yes, he is." "Did he donate $10,000 to your church?" "No, but he will!" responded the pastor.

Just a story folks. We would never give out any personal information to anyone.

In our Lord’s time, any Jewish male over 19 years of age was charged a tax to maintain the temple. Palestine accepted many different currencies, but one could only buy or pay for an animal for worship with Jewish shekels. So of course, money changers charged high exchange rates, especially during the Passover.

When Jesus came to pray, I imagine he couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. Let’s not think of him going berserk, acting like someone on a rampage. He knocked over a few tables and shooed away some animals with his whip to teach that the temple needed cleansing – to make room for prayer in God’s Presence there. God was getting snuffed out because no one was looking for him. People were just too busy.

St. Paul reminded the early Christians in Corinth, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you." (1 Corinthians 3:15). We are in a time in a holy season when we need to "cleanse" the temple of our hearts. It’s something we have to do every once in a while, like spring cleaning. We keep our homes clean, but there are times when we need to do some "heavy-duty" cleaning.

We move the sofa and the refrigerator and other large pieces of furniture to clean behind them and under them. If we are super energetic, we take down the curtains and wash them and notice how dirty are the windows. So we get out the Windex. How many things we notice, the carpet looks much newer under the couch, and the paint is cracking on the walls.

Lent is a time to move the furniture in our lives, take down the curtains and wash the windows. It’s more than getting rid of dirt. We have to rearrange some things. We have to find ways of creating more room, of making a neater and more beautiful space so that we can see ourselves differently and have a little more space in the room of our hearts for God and significant other people in our lives.

Gospel Challenge:

As Jesus purified the temple, Lent invites us to purify the temple of our hearts; uncover the obstacles that keep us selfish, that keep Jesus and other people out of our hearts. It’s time to get the whip out. Jesus will hand his whip of cords to us so we can drive these obstacles away – the things in the temple of our hearts that need "driving" out on this Lent. It’s better to use the whip on obstacles in our hearts than on ourselves and other people. Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be beautiful. I promise.

For your convenience, The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available every evening during Lent, starting on March 18 from 6-7 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Wed., March 26.

No confessions will be heard during Holy Week. Please take advantage of this opportunity. We will continue to have confessions on Saturdays from 3-4 p.m.

Love Your Neighbor:

Please join me in praying for all baptized Catholics to be faithful to Jesus in the Holy Mass every weekend. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Mother Mary, “I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you, I always want to belong completely to Jesus.” The Surrender Novena – InHeartland. https://inheartland.com/pages/the-surrender-novena

Peace be with you.

Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.

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