3RD SUNDAY OF LENT – “THE TABLES ARE TURNED!”
The Gospel today is disturbing. It is usually called the cleansing of the temple by Jesus. These days we might first think of Jesus going through the temple spraying disinfectant to cleanse it of a coronavirus. Actually the depiction of the angry actions of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers and throwing out those selling doves for sacrifices is a clear symbolic action that shows a huge change is coming to how God’s people will be called to worship very soon. The old will be thrown out and the new will come in. The New Covenant will be initiated to replace the old covenant. The temple and its constantly repeated animal sacrifices will be no more and the new once and for all sacrifice of Jesus’ life on the cross at Calvary will be able to present in a sacramental way in the new Church through the Eucharist.
During this season of Lent, we might benefit from looking at the microcosm of our own prayer life and worship and see what Jesus might want to overturn or change. How well are we focused on the Lord in prayer and worship? Do we properly “keep holy the Lord’ Day”? Even if we staying at home because of the pandemic, are we participating as best we can with a video presentation of the Mass? Do we prepare for Sunday Mass by looking at the Scripture readings ahead of time so we are really ready to listen to the Word of God? Do we come at least five minutes early in order to be in a prayerful mindset when the first song of praise starts? Do we participate in the singing as best we can? Do I pray the congregational prayers with full voice? Do I bring my mind back quickly to the worship after distractions? These issues are probably of concern to Jesus. What tables need to be turned in our prayer and worship?
TERRIBLE MILESTONE FOR OUR COUNTRY – 500,000 COVID DEATHS
Who would have thought last year at this time that we would have a half million of our American citizens from this never-ending and ever so deadly Covid 19 virus? Indeed the pandemic of 2020-2021 will get a whole chapter in American history books, and actually world history books too. And we have lived through it – at least for now.
But let us not think of ourselves as lucky survivors; rather we should continue to be “prayer partners” for all the victims who have died (here in our country and the other two million in the world), and also for those who were so very sick and survived, often with debilitating after-effects. As Catholics we believe in the power of intercessory prayer. Consequently let us frequently intercede with the Lord for all these victims and for all the medical and support personnel who have been heroically attending to the endless stream of patients with the virus coming into our hospitals.
May the vaccines do their job to save us! May the Lord our God be with us to save us!
NEED SOMETHING FIXED AROUND THE HOUSE?
Perhaps I have solution for you. A person named Larry Voss was an active member of a previous parish where I was pastor; I hired him to do painting in the parish rectory, and other maintenance jobs around the place, and he did a great job. A few weeks ago, Larry came to me for help, since he lost his job and had no place to stay but in his van. So with the cold weather coming on, I offered him the guest room here in the rectory of St. Bernadette. Some of you, I know, have met him and his little dog, Ruby around the Parish Office or at Mass.
Larry is a very competent and reliable “handy man” who can handle plumbing, electrical and carpentry problems. For years he was a self-employed contractor until Covid seemed dry up that kind of work. He is actively pursuing a f.t. or p.t. maintenance position, but in the meantime he is available to be hired by you to do some home “fix-it” projects. Just call me or Sister Ruth at the Parish Office and we can have Larry contact you.