Reflections

Third Sunday of Lent March 4, 2018

John 2:13-23

“Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace.” (Jn. 2:16}

Business as Usual

The presence of the animal vendors and money-changers in the Temple of Jerusalem comes out of practical necessity. When Jews from all over Palestine come to Jerusalem, especially during the important days like Passover, they will fulfill their religious obligation to offer their sacrifices in the Temple. Since it is impractical to bring a sacrificial animal like oxen, lambs, or turtledoves from their hometowns, the Jews prefer an easier solution by buying them in Jerusalem. It does not only save those Jewish pilgrims the hassle, but it gives the assurance also that the animals will be unblemished as the Law of Moses has prescribed.

Therefore, many vendors have the authorization from the Temple elders that their animals are unblemished and ready for sacrifice. The Jews are also required to support the upkeep the Temple and the priests through so-called “Temple tax.” Yet, they are not allowed to pay the Temple tax with the Roman money because it bears the image of Caesar as a god, a blasphemy. Thus, they need to change their money with more acceptable currency. Here the role of money-changers come in. it is a kind of win-win solution for the pilgrims, the vendors, and the Temple authorities. We could imagine that with so many people visiting the Temple, the business must be buzzing and thriving.

When Jesus comes and drives them all out of the Temple, surely it angers not only the vendors and the money-changers but also the Jewish authority and even ordinary Jewish pilgrims. The disappearance of this vendors and money-changers may mean that some people lose their earnings, some people find their profit disappear, and most people are irked by the inconveniences it causes. Jesus tells the reason behind his action, “the Jewish making His Father’s house a marketplace.” The very core of the Temple of Jerusalem is the encounter between God and his chosen people, between God the Father and His children, but with so many activities, trading, and noise, this essence of the Temple is lost. The Temple means usual business. The priests certify the sacrificial animals for the vendors, the vendors sell them to the pilgrims, and the pilgrims give the animals to the priests for the slaughter. Everyone goes home happy!

Jesus’ action is to break this vicious cycle of “normalcy” that makes people’ worship shallow. Jesus criticizes the structure that exploits the Temple for mere profit and superficial fulfillment of religious obligation, and for making Jesus’ house into the marketplace.

In this season of Lent, we ask ourselves, if Jesus comes to our church, diocese, parish, congregation, religious organization, and even our family, what will Jesus do?

Will He drive us out like He drives out the vendors from the Temple?

Or, will He make His home among you? While financial resources are important in helping our Church grow but do we make the Church an income-generating institution?

While the leadership structure is essential in the Church and our smaller groups, but do we serve others, or exploit people?

Do find peace and joy in our communities, or are they full of intrigues, gossips, unhealthy competitions?

Do we encounter God in our Church, or simply find ourselves?

We thank the Lord if we discover God, our Father, in our Church and community, but if we do not, we better to call Jesus to drive us away from His Father’s house.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

Reading 1 1 KGS 3:4-13

Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because that was the most renowned high place. Upon its altar Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon answered: “You have shown great favor to your servant, my father David, because he behaved faithfully toward you, with justice and an upright heart; and you have continued this great favor toward him, even today, seating a son of his on his throne. O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this– not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right– I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. In addition, I give you what you have not asked for, such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R. (12b) Lord, teach me your statutes.

How shall a young man be faultless in his way? By keeping to your words.

R. Lord, teach me your statutes. With all my heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commands.R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Within my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you.

R. Lord, teach me your statutes.

Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes.

R. Lord, teach me your statutes.

With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.

R. Lord, teach me your statutes.

In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches.

R. Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia JN 10:27 R. Alleluia, alleluia.

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

MK 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

Reading 1 1 KGS 2:1-4, 10-12

When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to his son Solomon:

“I am going the way of all flesh. Take courage and be a man.

Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, ‘If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.'”

David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David, with his sovereignty firmly established.

Responsorial Psalm 1 CHRONICLES 29:10, 11AB, 11D-12A, 12BCD

R. (12b) Lord, you are exalted over all.

“Blessed may you be, O LORD,

God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.”

R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

“Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.”

R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

“LORD, you are exalted over all.

Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor are from you.”

R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

“In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.”

R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

Alleluia MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts.

They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”

So they went off and preached repentance.

The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Reflection January 30, 2018

"Go in Peace and Be Cured of your Affliction" The woman's affliction her hemorrhages was known to her alone, something that disturbed her and gave her discomfort. Each of us has painful secrets and personal issues. Allow Jesus to come to your life and heal you. His healing is our peace.

Fr. Ching Salibay, O.P.

Reading 1 2 SM 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13

An informant came to David with the report, “The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom.” At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: “Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword.”

As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went.

As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul’s family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came. He threw stones at David and at all the king’s officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David’s right and on his left. Shimei was saying as he cursed: “Away, away, you murderous and wicked man! The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer.” Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head.” But the king replied: “What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?'” Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: “If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so? Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day.”

David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

Responsorial Psalm PS 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) Lord, rise up and save me.

O LORD, how many are my adversaries! Many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “There is no salvation for him in God.”

R. Lord, rise up and save me.

But you, O LORD, are my shield; my glory, you lift up my head! When I call out to the LORD, he answers me from his holy mountain.

R. Lord, rise up and save me.

When I lie down in sleep, I wake again, for the LORD sustains me. I fear not the myriads of people arrayed against me on every side.

R. Lord, rise up and save me.

Alleluia LK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 5:1-20 Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.

The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.

Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?

I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?”

He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.

The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened.

As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear.

Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,

“Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”

Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *