Saturday, March 07, 2015

Foolishness of God Is Wiser Than Human Wisdom

Third Sunday of Lent 2015 B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.  Exodus 20:5B-6

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”  But he was speaking about the temple of his body.  John 2:19-21

Our piety is seen in how we keep clean the temple of the Lord that we are meant to be. Prayer, fasting and good works are the specialties of Lenten piety. Our prayer is challenged by lack of reverence, attention and devotion. How sloppy we are in preparing for prayer is seen by the way we hold ourselves in the presence of the Lord. Reverence is important.  Our kneeling, genuflecting, or bowing before the Lord send a message to our hearts.  We exhibit reverence by praying with our bodies. The bodies by their posture reflect the reverence of our hearts. Attention is the focus of our mind on the person we are praying to in our prayers. There are words of prayer that flow naturally out of our past. But how well we listen to the Lord needs work. How I clear my mind of the extraneous to focus the Lord is the work of attention in prayer. Devotion is the readiness and frequency with which we return to the Lord during the day. The ideal is to follow the injunction of the Lord to pray always.

We study what we see the Lord asking of us in Exodus. The commandments of God being kept honors the Lord that dwells in the temple of our souls. How we make holy what we do is a decision to live the mind and the heart of Christ. We try to follow his example. Seeing the Lord cleanse the Temple of his Father from the buyers and the sellers gives us the incentive to make the hard decisions on how to live better what the Lord is asking of us.

Change is not an accident. It happens because we plan change. I commit myself to pray. I commit myself to work harder to bring his kingdom to fruition in my life. I revisit my decisions about what I would do for Lent. I look at myself with the eyes of Christ from his Cross.  The first step for Lent is half the journey. I put myself back on the journey to get closer to the Lord. Each day is a new beginning. I try to hold myself to something special each day. I see what is coming and make the plan to do what I can to be closer to the Lord. Each moment is a step closer if I do the “whatever” of the now with all my heart to honor and give glory to the Lord.

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