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!)