Saturday, March 18, 2006


3rd Sunday of Lent

March 19, 2006
3rd Sunday of Lent - B

EXODUS 20:1-17
In those days, God delivered all these commandments: "I, the LORD, am
your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of
slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve
idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on
the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow
down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a
jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness on the
children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children
of those who love me and keep my commandments. "You shall not take the
name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave
unpunished the one who takes his name in vain. "Remember to keep holy
the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the
seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done
then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female
slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days
the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in
them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has
blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. "Honor your father and your
mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your
God, is giving you. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your
neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not
covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or
ass, nor anything else that belongs to him."

Brothers and sisters: Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but
we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness
to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ
the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is
wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human

JOHN 2:13-25
Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He
found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well
as the moneychangers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and
drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and
spilled the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables, and
to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop
making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the
words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the
Jews answered and said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing
this?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in
three days I will raise it up." The Jews said, "This temple has been
under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in
three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered
that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the
word Jesus had spoken. While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of
Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he
was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew
them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He
himself understood it well.

In general, the Gospels reveal to us the mild gentle, caring and
compassionate Jesus, to whom the children would flock, and whom the
sick, even the lepers are not afraid to approach. Then why the violent
outburst in today's Gospel? The gentle Jesus says: "Come to me, you who
are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest...for I am gentle of
heart." Why did Jesus angrily drive out the vendors, from the Temple in
today's Gospel? Somehow the sore spot of Jesus has been touched. What
is it?

The whole life's concern of Jesus was to do the will of the Father. And
for the Jews, the Temple is the symbol and center of worship. It is the
most sacred place for the people. When Jesus saw the chaos going on in
the House of God, he was upset.

But what incensed him most were the exploitation of the people and the
immoral use of power and authority. Why did he drive out the
moneychangers? The coins acceptable in the temple offering must be the
temple coins, not just any currency. Therefore, people coming from the
different regions must exchange their money to temple coins. And this
is where the moneychangers made a killing. The profit from the
exorbitant exchange rate goes to the pockets of the moneychangers and
the temple authorities.

Jesus came to teach us to love God and one another. The whole setup
going on in the temple turned this vision upside down. Authority was
used not to serve God and people but to exploit. This abuse of power
could not sit well with Jesus.

We are meant by our baptism to be the Dwelling Place of the Blessed
Trinity. Do we try to make ourselves pleasing to God? Have we
appreciated the blessings and gifts that God has given us in our
bodies, the health, the talents and potentials. Or have we misused them
for our selfish gratification, even offending God?

Instead of expecting us to go to the Temple of Jerusalem for worship,
God has made it so easy for us to worship him in the Holy Eucharist.
Throughout our lives, we accumulate so many things that bog us down on
our journey to God. Not only the things themselves, but also the
pursuit of those things distract us from the real joys and meaning of
life and distort our vision of the world as God created it to be.

Lent (which comes from the old English word for "spring") is the season
for a "spring cleaning" of our spirits and souls - driving out of our
lives whatever distracts us from the things and values of God and
restoring a sense of perspective in order to realize the joy and hope
of God's presence in our lives.

During this season of Lent, let us pray to Jesus, and let him clean and
drive out from us and from our midst all the sellers in the temple in
us and in our midst.

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- healings for MR, BB, Carol, Fr Steve D, and Peggy O.
- for the healing and speedy recovery of Leoncio Chua.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Fr. Jacques Bruyere, S.J.
- Birthday: Marco & Marika Grey Dayrit
- Wedding Anniversary: Rosalind & Erwin Ty Tan
- Wedding Anniversary: Mr. & Mrs. Gregorio Kaw
- for the quick recovery / healing of Amalia Lim.
- for the sisterhood and brotherhood love of CFC-SA.
- for the safe travel of Tess Lumbao.
- In Memoriam (+): Frank Atienza
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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� 2006 Daily-Homily

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