Friday, February 21, 2020 at 4:59 PM
Ash Wednesday-February 26 Ashes will be distributed at 9 A.M & 7 P.M. masses as well as 12:15 and 4 P.M. Scripture services. Fr. Reggie at Wilton train station 6 to 8 A.M.

3/4/18 Third Sunday of Lent - Fr. Damian

Where is your passion? This is a good question for the season of Lent. Some people are passionate about food: they become gourmets or just fat. Others are passionate about money: they become rich or terribly frustrated.


Jesus was passionate about the Kingdom of God, about the Kingdom of his heavenly Father. Today one might easily wonder why: why this passion about his Father?


Knowing his Father intimately, Jesus wanted passionately to share with people his Father's love for them. He was frustrated, dismayed and angered when the religious leaders of his time reduced this relationship with God to a caricature, an imperative to comply with external rules and rituals, a type of religiosity that failed to relate them to the goodness of his Father. He wanted the Father's love to reign in their hearts and for people to freely respond to his Father in love. He wanted all, loved by God, to love one another as a consequence of God's love. That, for Jesus, was the essence of the Kingdom of God. And he was passionate about that.


But he was roundly misunderstood. He angered those who misunderstood him. He was not afraid. He called them hypocrites and likened them to snakes. In turn they plotted to put him to death. And they did.

In the Gospel reading today, Jesus, passionate about the Kingdom of his Father, overturns the tables of merchants and money-changers in anger. For Jesus the Temple was for worship, for acknowledging God as ruler of our lives, for discovering his compassion and goodness in our lives. But the merchants had changed the Temple into a marketplace where money ruled, not God, where greed ruled, not worship. So brandishing a whip, an angry Jesus cries, "Take all this away and stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!"


When people asked him for a sign to prove his authority for what he did, he replied cryptically, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."

 Of course, he was misunderstood: he was referring to the temple of his own body and how he would suffer and die and how he would be raised from the dead to manifest the Kingship of his Father. In his resurrection after three days, his authority to cleanse the Temple and call people to true worship is established.. In his passion, people began to take notice, believe and be his disciples.. Others began to plot for his death.


What is our passion in our lives? Money or pleasure or power?


Has our passion in life brought us to a life filled with love and compassion, as God wills, or has our passion filled our lives with darkness, confusion and despair so that we have effectively put Jesus to death in our lives?


We may wish to consider how Jesus' passion for the Kingdom of his Father impacts our passion in life. Jesus wanted passionately that we accept the values of the Kingdom of God to shape and influence our life, our lifestyle and choices. How do we serve the Kingdom of God in our family, our work, in our service for the common good?


May our passion for life be the joy of the Kingdom of God for all.


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