Today’s Gospel gives a rare peek into a rare but a very human emotion of our Lord Jesus Christ – “Holy Anger”. Surrounded by difficult and problematic people, Jesus never showed anger. He was not angry with the adulterous woman nor with the Pharisees who continuously hounded him. Even Judas’ betrayal did not elicit anger from Jesus. On the cross, there was only forgiveness and meekness.

But here, look at Jesus angry, and showing it to all. However, his anger did not turn to violence against his neighbor. This was the reason why it was “holy”. He formed a cord into a whip but not to attack people but drive away the animals sold at the temple quarters. He overturned tables, but didn’t lay a hand on any person there. Jesus was very angry at the Temple area. Why? His emotions were stirred because people should go to the Temple to pray, to worship and to focus on God. Here were people, though, who used the Temple for their own agenda, while their hearts were closed to the presence of the Almighty Father. The Gospel says: zeal for God’s house burned within Jesus.

Why is it that people spend their time in church catching up on each other’s lives, talking all the while that the celebration is unfolding? Then, there are those who are more sensitive to the vibration of the cell phone, always checking it for text or missed call, than to the Spirit of God communicating to their souls. It is always very good to go to Mass with friends, but to center on your friends and not on God, is something Jesus will not find acceptable behavior.

This Lent, God wants us to deepen our relationship with Him. And we must start with worship itself. There is time we give to worship and it is great! But is there a zeal in our worship? If a person comes to church because he loves God and wants to spend his time thanking and praising Him or lifting up to Him his concerns, then he will focus on the Lord. No matter how boring the priest is, or the weather too cold, or the choir absent, if there is zeal in our hearts for God, our worship is complete and pleasing to the Lord.

Why is worship important? It is because worship flows into our life. If you cannot focus on God in your church, how can you focus on God in your family, in your work, in your neighborhood, and in moments of trials? If you are sensitive to the Lord in worship, you will be sensitive to his word and his presence even after the Mass is over. Jesus, teach us to honor you not only by being physically present here at Mass, but by truly offering to you our whole hearts as we celebrate today. Thank you, Jesus, for reminding us to love you above all.

#32 A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: A man was pulling his donkey past a group of soldiers chatting outside the barracks. One of the soldiers tried to tease him. “Are you enlisting your brother to the Army?” The young man answered, “Yeah, I want him to join your company.” The soldier continued, “We have enough of them here. Take him home.” The young responded, “But my donkey wants to be with his company.”

This Sunday is the First Scrutiny for all our Candidates in the RCIA. The next days of the Third Week of Lent are Optional Memorials of Ss. Perpetua and Felicity on the 7th, St. John of God, on the 8th, and St. Frances of Rome, on the 9th, respectively. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.

Your Priest—Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie