This weekend we celebrate the Third Sunday of Lent. The Gospel passage from John focuses on the temple. Jesus is expressing his anger at what is going on. Money changers are charging exorbitant fees to worshippers who wish to have a sacrifice offered at the temple altar. Jesus tells them to stop making his Father’s house a market place. He drives them out of the temple as he overturns tables and spills coins. The Jews ask for a sign regarding his actions. Jesus refers to his own body as a temple: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” He thoroughly confuses the Jews because they do not understand what he is talking about. For them the temple is a physical site. Jesus goes beyond the physical: the temple is a spiritual place where we encounter God. Jesus himself (the embodiment of God through the Incarnation) is the temple of God. Our bodies, too, are temples, temples of the Holy Spirit, places in which God dwells. We are the Body of Christ. This day and week, as Jesus looks at the “temples” in which he dwells, is he pleased or is he angry about what is going on within them? Is there anything that he might drive out? We are called to holiness and continued to conversion along the way - with God’s grace we embrace the call to holiness.
This Saturday we welcome Father Andy Booms, pastor of Saint Brigid Parish. That whole day, Father Jim will be present at two different parishes celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation: Our Lady of Lake Huron in Harbor Beach and Saint John the Evangelist in Ubly. As Director of the Office of Liturgy, Father Jim is the one communicating with pastors and coordinating the celebrations of Confirmation in the absence of the Bishop. (In February he explained to us that he might have to act as the bishop’s representative at certain events, or be present at liturgies such as regional Confirmations and that it might affect our parish schedule). After calling four priests who were unavailable to help out, I called Father Andy (who has no Saturday evening Mass), hoping he was free. He was indeed able to celebrate Mass for us. Thank you, Father Andy, for being with us today! As Father Jim continually tells us, “there is no one on the bench.” Please continue to pray for vocations.
Reminder: two opportunities for spiritual enrichment this week are: Sunday, March 4, Vicariate Lenten Penance Liturgy at 2:30 PM at Holy Spirit Church, and John Paul II Scriptural Stations of the Cross at 6:30 PM in Church.
Please note the flyer in today’s bulletin regarding the Catholic Relief Services Collection, an annual collection sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which takes place next weekend. Please read the flyer carefully, and support CRS by making a donation to help Jesus in Disguise through the many wonderful ways this collection responds to their needs.
Blessings on your Lenten Journey!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ