Tag Archives: Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 3rd Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE! 

“Enough,” she said sadly. This was not working. They had some wonderful times together and he was a nice guy, but it was clear, at least to her, that each wanted different things out of life.  So with tears and a smile on her face, she wished him well and they parted.

Enough, he said with frustration. The project was going nowhere. They were wasting valuable time and resources.  There were too many competing visions and goals and egos.  He decided to cancel the next meeting; instead, he spoke one-on-one with each member of the team.  He reviewed what needed to be done to move forward.  Then he and the team member decided together whether he or she would continue working on the project.  A smaller, more focused and in-sync group then brought the work to completion.

Enough, they said.  It had been a long year, with both Mom and Dad working at home and the kids attending classes online in their rooms.  Living in the same 3,000 square feet of space 24/7 can’t help but lead to impatience, bickering, boredom, and frankly loneliness. So Mom and Dad announced a cleaning day. Every room of the house, yes, including your rooms kids, would be vacuumed, cleaned and dusted. Clothing would be hung up (laundered, if needed), books and games put back where they belong; stuff not needed would be donated or tossed. Everyone worked together cleaning the kitchen and shared family spaces. The day ended with pizza and a movie. Dinner was restored as sacred time, with everyone assigned a role and attendance mandatory.  With a clean and orderly house, the family found that attitudes had gotten a bit more positive.  They started to be a family again.    Just Enough…

My guess is, we all reach the point of enough when we are tired of accepting less than what is possible; when what is right and just eludes us because of selfishness or greed; when we refuse to remain silent any longer for the sake of complacency posing as peace.

Jesus reaches the point of enough in today’s Gospel.

Enough of the commerce and profit that had degraded the Temple. The time had come to restore the Temple as a place of prayer, of welcome, and peace, of charity and kindness.

What Jesus does in cleansing the Temple we must do in our lives.  Enough of the merchants who try to sell us on a set of beliefs and values based on self-interest and greed; Enough of the “money changers” who shortchange us of the time and attention we want for family and friends; Enough of the useless, the meaningless, and the destructive that make our lives less then what God created them to be.

I guess in some ways it is about keeping perspective, keeping God, faith, family, others, caring, love, forgiveness, and responsibility at the forefront of our daily lives, before those other distractions and false gods.

And if I were to ask you on your way out of mass today, what do you remember from today’s Homily? I am sure it would be “Family Cleaning Day” begins when we get home today!

Third Sunday of Lent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the Third Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE!

I saw a one box cartoon this past week of Tony the Tiger, whose famous line is, “They’re great!” (Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes)  Tony the Tiger is laying on a couch, and he says to the doctor, “I don’t feel great.”

And maybe that is most of us, in a sense…  Amidst the concerns of our world, our nation, our state, our county, our family… we do not feel great, and like the Israelite people in our Exodus reading, we to might think, “is the Lord in our midst or not?”

Personally, as I thought about all that has been going on these weeks and months and most especially the past few days, the questions I would suggest is, “what would Jesus do?”  As people of faith, what are we being asked to do?

There is no doubt that news of the past week or so may bring uncertainty to some, to many some fear and increased concern for family and others…

Yet, the Coronavirus is not going to lead to the Zombie Apocalypse.  (It is not the beginning of the end!)

From my understanding of what has been shared over the past weeks, there are a variety of things  that need our attention and action, among them:

  •  Make every effort to stay healthy, not only for yourself and family but for others…
  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, and of course, wash your hands…  for 20 seconds w/soap!
  • Avoid one on one contact with people who are sick, not just for your health but for theirs.  (But do make an effort to keep in touch with people.  There are a few newly invented things we might consider: a phone call, Facetime, Email, a letter/a post card, etc. )
  • We are advised to keep some space between our self and others.  What are they suggesting?  3 to 6 feet…
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. 
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you are sick, do not come to Church… Stay home.

(When was the last time you heard a Priest say do not come to Church, not often because our God does ask us to gather with our fellow believers; but when we are really sick, we should not be here.)

And besides, in the World we live in, when we are sick, from the comfort of our home we can watch the Mass Live Streamed every Sunday at 10:30 am.  Just go to our Parish Website to do so:   StMarysCrescent.Org

Oh, and don’t forget our ongoing financial support of your Parish, whether we are here or not, like everyone your Parish still has bills and salaries to be paid!

  • Avoid shaking hands with people… Some eye contact and a heartfelt hello or good bye goes a long way.
  • And I am sure you are taking many other everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, like the Coronavirus.

It seems that much of the present concerns are an effort to help lessen the passing on of the Coronavirus to others, especially the sick.  Those who are 60 years of age plus, who may be more vulnerable than others.  (That includes your Pastor, he’s almost 71, if you care and I sure you do; he would rather not be sick).

Often many of the challenges we face in life also present opportunities…

When it comes to the Coronavirus, what opportunities may be present with authorities cancelling many public events, with people cancelling travel plans, with schools closed, with people staying home maybe we can:

  • Take some time to bond as a family…
  • A meal or more together, might work…
  • Family time, while watching a movie, playing a game…
  • A phone call to all those people we’ve been meaning to call these past few years…
  • A letter or note or card to a neighbor, a relative, someone you may even take for granted.
  • And, not to be forgotten, pray…  Pray personally…  Pray with your family…  Watch a Live-Streamed Mass together as a family.

Oh, and one more thing…  Don’t hoard…  Leave some pasta, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, even Doritos for others…

Care and share…

Maybe this Homily can be summed up like this: God loves us… God loves you…  May others thru our actions of caring and sharing be reminded that God is indeed in our midst!

Third Sunday of Lent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Third Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE! 

Somewhere this week I came across the phrase, “We are a people who forget too easily.”

We forget:

  • Where we put our car keys
  • To do our homework
  • To take out the garbage
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries…
  • What’s really important.

I am sure each of us can add a few more things to the list of what we easily forget.

I would suggest that today’s readings are reminding us to remember what God has done for us.  That God is in our midst, not as a God of vengeance and destruction, as God could be.  But God is in our midst as a God of salvation and freedom.  Freedom from slavery for sure as we hear in the first reading from Exodus, our God is a God who cares for his people, who protects his people, who leads his people to the Promised Land. This needs to be REMEMBERED!

God is in our midst yesterday, today and tomorrow.  How do we REMEMBER?  How do we remind one another that God is in our midst?

Just maybe we remember and remind people when we LIVE and SHARE with others what our God has shared with us and others: patience and forgiveness of the sinner.  Isn’t this one of the main teachings that comes forth from the story of the fig tree today?

The tree has been cared for three years, but no fruit.  The first thought is to cut it down!  But the gardener says, let me try again, it may bear fruit in the future.  That tree is US; That gardener is Jesus, our Savior.

The stories of Jesus where usually pretty direct and understandable by the people, and Jesus point is simply:

  • Remember the story
  • Remember how God has always been and will always be present in your life
  • Remember how God has and continues to show: mercy, compassion, forgiveness, patience, kindness, generosity, and so much more to us, His people time and again.
  • Share what God has shared with one another…

I was going to stop here, but let me end with 3 examples of how we might remember and not forget what God has done for us:

  • Is there someone we need to be more patient with?  Someone we need to really forgive, if only in our heart?
  • Is it possible that we might bring a food item or two next weekend for area food pantries as a reminder that we do not forget about God’s people?
  • Is it possible that acts of kindness, like the new dishes our confirmation students will be bringing to an area facility next week, might get us thinking about how such acts of “kindness” can continue in our lives as person, family and Parish.

Third Sunday of Lent

Today we hear the story of the Samaritan Woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

As we know, water is absolutely necessary for life, so much so that it is recommended that we drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.  For us in the USA, water is close at hand.   In the water bottle we have with us or the faucet not too far away.  But in the time of Jesus this was not the case.  Water was obtained from the nearest well.

And so here is this Samaritan Woman obtaining water, the essence of physical life — but little does she know that her daily effort would bring her to the waters of eternal life in Jesus.

During the time of Jesus there were strict rules regarding encounters of men and women not of the same family.  Men and women that were not related did not talk or have any association with one another in public.  Add to this that Jews (Jesus was Jewish) and Samaritans (the women is a Samaritan) had been the bitterest of enemies for centuries.

But yet, the two sit, talk, and listen to one another.  Through their mutual acceptance of the other, the walls, boundaries, hostilities and hatred melts away and disappears.

The Samaritan woman comes to understand who Jesus is.  At first Jesus is a Jew, to be despised and hated, but as they speak she comes to believe he is a prophet (because he knows of her marital history: five husbands and the one she is with is not her husband) and as Jesus continues to speak, she comes to believe he is the Messiah.

But it does not end there.  The woman who has met Jesus, who has come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, whose life is changed – rushes off to tell others about Jesus, who they will eventually come to know personally and believe is the Messiah.

Simply put, this woman was changed by her encounter with Jesus.  It changed her life, she found what was “missing” and had to tell others about Jesus.

You’ve got to believe that it did not stop there.

You’ve got to believe that this gift of faith revealed by this encounter with Jesus led this Samaritan Woman and others to make faith a priority in their lives.

Making faith a priority in our life…  Lent asks us to reflect upon this question.

How are we as a person, family and Parish making our faith a priority in our lives?

How is our life, how can our lives, be an invitation to others to come and know the source of life and eternal life: Jesus, the Son of God; Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

An invitation that comes through the daily lives we live of personal prayer, weekly Mass, the living of the Sacraments we receive, our growing in knowledge of our faith, our service to others and on the list goes.

Put another way: Do people know we are a person and family who are Catholic and practicing, living our faith is a priority?

Making faith a priority in our lives may at times mean making some changes in our schedules, in our lives as one person shared recently, “we give up things we love for things we love even more.”

Many of us were baptized as infants and simply inherited our faith.  But there is a point, especially as adults, when we need to re-examine and recommit ourselves to our Baptismal Promises — to say yes to Christ and to live as his Disciples, (again and again and again).  Even if we have made an adult commitment to Christ, we sometimes lose our way and find ourselves thirsty, disoriented, and unsatisfied, and we drift toward wells of superficial pleasures, quick fixes and strange gods.

This week are called to come to the well of life-giving water, to spend time with Jesus, to bring our questions, burdens, and sinfulness and to ask Christ to draw us even closer to our merciful God and Father.

May faith and the living of our faith be and become more and more a priority in our lives as person, family and Parish.

February 28, 2016 – Third Sunday of Lent – Homily given at Corpus Christi Church, Round Lake

We are almost halfway through Lent 2016.  During our Lenten Journey – what have we discovered or re-discovered about our God, about Jesus, about life, about true love, about growing as a person of faith, about forgiveness, about mercy, about patience… about whatever is good and of God that is changing us?

In today’s Gospel, we really see the patience of the gardener – who represents God in the story.  But, I would guess, most of us would be like the owner of the orchard who for three years waited for the fig trees to bear fruit.  He had waited enough… yet the gardener asks, maybe better put, pleads with the owner to “give it one more year, one more growing season” to bear fruit, with his efforts of cultivation.

The Gospel is a story of patience…

In all honesty… a virtue of God, that seems to be very lacking in our society today.

Through this Gospel story, Jesus – some 200 years later – may very well be asking us, to be more patient in any number of ways, with any number of situations, with any number of people, and ever with God going forward from today…




As our journey of Lent and faith and life continues, may we get to KNOW the Shepherd more deeply each day… and LIVE the message of the Shepherd, the message of the gardener of today’s Gospel, of Jesus… a bit more each day.     (Amen)

Third Sunday of Lent

Scriptures:      Exodus 20:1-17;   1 Corinthians 1:22-15;     John 2:13-25

To state the obvious, in today’s Gospel, Jesus is uncharacteristically angry.  Jesus is angry it seems with the people who were buying and selling in the Temple.  The anger of Jesus centered around the fact that there was a lack of respect for the House of God and lack of respect for people.

In the time of Jesus the buyers and sellers were taking care of a need, namely to supply Pilgrims from Jerusalem with what they needed to worship God in the Temple.  Jewish law required that people obtain certain animals to offer sacrifice and the people were to by them with Jewish money.  Thus the need for money-changers.

The message of Jesus as he upsets everything and everyone is, “do not violate what is sacred!  Do not turn your lives from the living God, but return to God with all your hearts.”

This Lent 2015, how are our lives turning back to God, with all our hearts?

We all know, that it is very easy to get upset with other people; to even get angry with other people, but the question many times is:   Is it warranted… really warranted?     (Truth is, not as often as we would like to think)

Lent may be asking us a consider something different when it comes to “anger,” namely:

  • What makes us angry enough to:
    • Change ourselves?
    • Our attitudes?
    • Our perspectives?
    • Our understandings?
  •  What makes us angry enough to restore and recreate our lives and our world in the compassion and justice of God?

This past week we heard the news about a family with frozen pipes, a family with no running water for 10 days, and the ongoing battle of words as to who was responsible.

Finally, a woman in the area, had enough of the ongoing “war of words” and “lack of action.”    You might say she was angry with what was not being done.

So the woman said to her son, a plumber, “go and help those people.”   And, who doesn’t listen to their mother?  The plumber went to the home and free of charge took care of the frozen pipes and the people had running water, for all those necessities of life.

And sometimes the solutions to the needs and problems of the day are not far away, not just someone else’s concern, but our concern also.

Anger or concern can become something very constructive, as we and others seize the opportunity to do good, to work for good with others, to do the good we are able, each day, every day.

Where is God calling us this Lent and beyond to use our concern and even our anger to do good, to bring God’s care, God’s concern, God’s love, God’s justice to others in our:  home, school, community,  Parish of St. Mary’s, Crescent and beyond; as person, family and Parish.

A best-selling book entitled:  The Happiness Project, suggests one Three Minute Routine that might well be the catalyst for creative and positive change in our lives every day.  We all have to begin somewhere each day in living creative and positive lives, so why not begin with this three minute routine:     Making your bed!      (At the very least, it will make your mother happy, for sure!)

Third Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings:       Exodus 17: 3-7;       Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8;       John 4: 5-42

If you meet Jesus at your favorite watering hole, what would Jesus ask of you? Ask of us ???

Jesus might just remind us of the waters that flowed over our heads at Baptism, that were a call for us a person, family and Parish to be the face, the hands and the heart of Christ in the world of today.

Sometimes there are people we encounter, people we know and people we do not know, who come to our community of faith seeking the face of Christ, hoping for that combination of wisdom and compassion so obvious to the Samaritan woman of the Gospel…and sadly they do not find it.

Today’s gospel points us toward growing in Faith, Hope and Love, reminding us that it is up to us to live them more and more each day in concrete ways.

This week, as person, family, and Parish, our God calls us to be the face, the hands and the heart of Christ to all we meet and in all we do; at home, at work, at school, in the community and in our Parish.

God comes to us today as He has in many days past.

May we not turn and walk away from God and his call to follow, rather may we say “Yes Lord!” and live “The Way” of Christ; “The Way” of the Gospel more faithfully…