Fr. Jolly’s Homily for Sunday, March 4, 2018

Third Sunday of Lent- B – John 2 13-25

Christianity is not a religion; but a life style. Our challenge is building bridge in our broken relationship so that we can fall in love with Jesus…

Almost all of us have learned the story of Aladdin and Magic lamp. The Islamic mythology speaks about genie popping out of the bottle and ready to do whatever you want him to. If you would, please use your imaginations for just a moment. One day you are all alone praying and the Lord himself has just appeared to you and almost like a magic genie that’s just popped out of a bottle, he’s given you permission to make one wish and no matter what it is, he will grant it. What would you wish for? A large sum of money with which you could pay off all your bills and live comfortably the rest of your life? Or how about a lifetime of good health for you and your family? If you’re a student you might wish for a straight A report card and all the knowledge that would come with it for the rest of your years of schooling? Or how about something as grandiose and far-reaching as world peace? If you’ll recall, a fellow in the Bible by the name of Solomon once found himself in that position. And do you remember what he asked for? Wisdom – or as he put it, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” Not a bad request at all. And God honored that request by making Solomon the wisest man to ever live next to Christ himself.

But what about you? What would you ask for if God gave you one wish? David, Solomon’s father, answers that question for us in a most unusual and unexpected way in our text for today. He says: “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” What David is saying there is that if he had his druthers, if he could make one wish of God, he would like 2 to be in church every single day of his life. Now I may be wrong, but I sincerely doubt that anybody here today, myself included, would make that our greatest wish, our greatest desire in life. And yet David did. So we have to ask why. Surely there must have been something in God’s house that held an incredible attraction for him. And indeed there was and there still is for us today. And that is what I want to spend my time talking about this Sunday morning. Why do we go to church? Is it just a duty, an obligation we fulfill for fear that if we don’t God is going to become angry or upset with us and maybe even punish us? We have the 10 Commandments which says…………………………………

We also have the 5 precepts in the church which says …………………….. Therefore we have a wrong understanding of God. God is like a police man standing there with a stick and ready to deal with you the moment you step out of the line. Therefore, we don’t have a love relationship with the Lord. We fail to fall in love with Jesus. As a result the average church participation today is 20- 30 percent?????

I remember meeting a young couple 40 years old. They are just perfect couple, role models. Everybody looks up to them and want to be like. They are not only perfect couple but excellent relationship with Christ and go to Mass daily. She is a medical doctor and he is a CFO. One day, I couldn’t help but ask them how come they have a great relationship with Christ? He told me his story: He was an excellent student and just graduated his masters. He got a stomach virus and got admitted and the doctor was off that day. This resident walks in and his heart started beating. Love at the first sight! He knew this is the lady! At the end of her visit, she gave him her business card and said, if you any more symptom, call me. He started having symptoms all the time. They ended up dating. They spend hours and hours talking 3 on the phone. There was much not matter but very excited and could talk the whole day. She went to England for 6 months and he spends a lot of money talking. They ended up getting married and have children. His relationship with his wife taught him how to have a great relationship with God. He spends, every day quality time with her. He said that his favorite words from the Bible, Jesus asking his disciples “could you not spend one hour with me?’ I have 23 hour for myself. All He is asking is 1 hour and I give him every day! We as a family spend quality time with Jesus.

Christianity is not a religion; but a life style. Our challenge is building bridge in our broken relationship so that we can fall in love with Jesus. If we are able to fall in love with Jesus, then we will be excited about being in the temple of the Lord enjoying His presence. David prayed: please don’t take the Holy Spirit away from me. Holy Spirit is our guide in building a strong love relationship with God. “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

The responsorial psalm reminded us “Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.” Today, too many people are too much focused on the physical temple, Jesus wants us to focus on the spiritual temple i.e.; soul. Like the Jerusalem temple, our body would be destroyed one day, no matter how much we try to preserve it. Our challenge is to take care of the temple that would never be destroyed! “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” (1 Corinthians 6:19). This temple – our body, our soul, our being – is in constant need of cleansing, as Jesus cleansed the Temple in Jerusalem. This is for all times, but it has a special resonance in the season of Lent