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Homily - Mar 3rd, 2024

3rd.Sunday of Lent (Year B). (March 3, 2024) Ex 20:1-17; I Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25.


“Take these out of here, and don’t make my Father’s house a market place…”


We all have the tendency to be distracted. In 1970, the average American saw between

500 and 1,600 ads a day. In 2023, that number jumped to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads

per day, surfing the internet. We are so attracted and consumed that we lose track of our

original intent and go down a wormhole of images and information bombarding us with the

message that, our lives will be happier and more fulfilled with whatever is being

advertised. (Unwholesome sites…?).


Life Message: But it is not only advertisers and influencers who are aware of our tendency

to lose attention or be distracted. God is also keenly aware and calls us back time and

again to what truly matters. So, for instance our lent began with God speaking through the

Prophet Joel: “…Rend your hearts, and not your garments; and return to me with your

whole hear…” (Joel 2:12). Indeed, God knows that our desire is ultimately for him. But

when we mistake our worldly distractions, some of which are dangerous and addictive, for

true holiness, we begin to believe that we will be fulfilled in life. This means, sometimes,

our distractions can become so ingrained that we come to believe they are our ultimate

path to holiness. Hence in the 1st.reading, while Moses is busily receiving the 10

Commandments from Yahweh on the Mountain, the Israelites are worshipping a golden

calf at the base. Their impatience quickly leads them astray, but God doesn’t give up,

and calls them back again. Yes, God also knows our impatience, our fixations, and

our longing in a world competing for our attention, yet He calls us back.


Conclusion: When this happens, God’s intervention at times can seem intrusive and

chaotic, disrupting our clear boundaries, and established methods and invented rules.

Thus, in today’s gospel, Jesus overturns the tables of the moneychangers, drives away the

animal and dove sellers (an enshrined practice in the Temple, aligned with the worship of

God).


Why? People are so fixated on making profits out of the engagements, rendering it a total

distraction from what they are about: “the true worship of God”! Jesus' cleansing of the

temple is also a prophetic sign of what he wants to do with each of us. He ever seeks to

cleanse us of our sinful ways to make us into living temples of his Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).

God desires that we be holy as he is holy. Therefore, on our Lenten journey, God invites us

to recognize our distraction and our holy longing. What are the tables in our lives that we

think are essential, but really need to be overturned? How does God disrupt us every day,

from the distractions that vie for our attention? God implore us to return to the source of

our longing, and not settle for any imitation. (Song: Come back to me, with all your

heart…).

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