Here is my homily for this weekend. The audio will be added, hopefully, in a day or so. Blessings, Deacon Bob
UPDATE: Here is the audio: 3rd Sunday of Lent – Cycle B
Third Sunday of Lent – Cycle B
Ex 20: 1-17; 1 Cor 1: 22-25; John 2: 13-25
March 10/11, 2012
The opening words of our first reading today were, “I am the Lord, your God…” God…… Who is He? Well, God is God. He has no equal. There is nothing with which we can compare Him. There is just one of Him, only one. So, He defines Himself. His own self-description in the Scriptures is, “I am who am.” In other words, He cannot be fully described or understood.
God is all-powerful. He is all-knowing. He is all-holy. He is perfectly balanced and he possesses perfect harmony. There is no contradiction in God. He is complete love. He is all-just. He is so different from us, so transcendent, that without His help, we would be unable to bridge the gap between us.
How, then, do we begin to build a relationship with such a God? How do we even begin to pray? How do we begin to recognize Him in our daily lives? How do we worship Him?
These are questions with which humanity has been grappling and trying to answer since the beginning of history.
How do we worship, communicate with, and relate to God whom we intuitively know exists? What does all of this mean, and what will it require of us?
Over and over again in the Old Testament we hear how people became confused and misled, how they broke the First Commandment and began worshipping false gods. You have to believe that they didn’t maliciously do this. No, they were seeking some way of making sense of God, some way of touching and seeing Him and worshipping Him that made sense. So they turned to created things and called them gods, hoping these “gods” would bring them peace, security and happiness.
My friends, the same thing is happening today. People are turning to false gods because they are searching for some way to see and hear and touch God. They are turning to Buddhism, the occult, paganism and the modern philosophy of relativism. They are doing this right here in the local area. They are trying to find God.
So, we must ask ourselves:
What do I place on the altar of my life?
What do I believe will bring me peace, security and happiness?
Is it beauty, health money, business, job, a particular political party, home or car?
Our Gospel today tells us how the people of old made money from religious practices and in doing so, turned God’s house into a place of idolatry – the worship of money and business.
We heard how Jesus made that stunning declaration (which would later get him killed) that He was the Temple, that He was God, that His body would be raised up and would be the place where true worship of God would happen, the God whom we seek to know and understand and love.
Yes, Jesus Christ is the bridge between God and humankind; it is through His body that we find union with the God. It is through Him and His Body that we begin to see and touch and hear God. Jesus is the mediator between God and man.
Jesus is the revelation of God to humankind. He has shown us what it means to be truly human. He has shown us the face of God. He has shown us how to pray. He has shown us true worship. It is through Jesus that we enter into relationship with God.
Have you noticed how in the official prayers of the Church we always end by saying, “Through Jesus Christ, your Son…”? We always go through Jesus to the Father.
But it isn’t just in our formal prayers that we experience the power of going through Jesus who intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father; we experience this power by placing Jesus at the center of our entire lives – living a Christ-centered life.
Seeing Jesus in others, treating them like we would treat Jesus himself…. This too is worship of God. Recognizing Jesus in our daily lives is the road to salvation because He alone bridges the divide between God and man. When others become for us the face of Jesus, then we begin to see, hear, touch and serve God.
And remember: the Church is His Body. It is through the Catholic Church that God’s true presence enters the world; through the Church salvation flows to all of creation for the Church is the Body of Christ. We are members of that Body, each of us, and in each other, gathered here for the Eucharist, we can see the face of Jesus the one mediator between God and man.
My friends, we must give our entire lives a Christ-centered meaning. We must put on a new way of thinking this Lent. We must put on the mind of Jesus.
Jesus, the mediator between God and man.
Jesus the divine person – one with the Father and the Spirit – yet both human and divine in his natures.
Without Jesus, we lose our way. Without his Body the Church, we become blind to the Truth, blind to His presence among us. We must never forget that! Without His Body we become blind to the Truth and we no longer see Him for who He is.
Reach out to God this Lent! Go through Jesus! Find Him in the Church! Bring others to Him! Find in them the God we all seek!