Sunday, March 15, 2009

Third Sunday of Lent - A First

After almost eleven years of Priesthood (and, come to think of it, almost twelve of Diaconate), a first happened on Sunday.

I had two of our parish's Masses today, the 8am and the 11am.  The 8am was pretty straightforward, with the readings for cycle B (Jesus cleans house at the Temple).  At the 11am, we had the first Scrutiny for those who'll enter the Church this Easter. Because of that, the readings at the Mass were from cycle A (Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well).  What it meant was I had to prepare homilies for two separate sets of readings for the same Sunday Mass.  The Priesthood: A lot of things, but never boring.

The Cycle B reading of Jesus opening up a can of whoop-@$$ in the Temple is always fun to preach on.  This is not the "warm fuzzy" Jesus.  The laugh of it all is that my pastor here insists that the celebrant of the Mass make announcements after the closing prayer and before the final blessing.  It means that after I preach about how Jesus disliked seeing the Temple made into a marketplace, I have to tell the people at Mass that the Home School Association is selling raffle tickets, the Altar Rosary Society is selling religious goods, etc.  This ranks right up there with the morning that we get the Gospel about the rich man and Lazarus, and I have to stand there dressed in a linen alb and purple chasuble, and preach about the wicked rich man "dressed in fine linen and purple".

The Cycle A reading is also a neat one to preach on (or, if you want to be grammatically proper, a neat Gospel upon which to preach).  The Samaritan woman is great to study, because of the way you can track her conversion.  In the woman's conversation with Christ, Jesus goes from being "a Jew", to "sir", to "rabbi", to "a prophet", to "the Messiah".  With every exchange with Jesus, her awareness of just who He is deepens.

What about us?  Do we try to make Jesus Christ into an "adjustable Lord"?

Are there some times when we want Jesus to be "Messiah", and other times we just want Him to be "Sir"?  Do we love Jesus one moment and grumble against Him the next, like the Israelites did to Moses?

1 comment:

Maria Raphael said...

I don't really see the Lord as being "adjustable" so much. It's more like we humans tend to be that way towards Him.

I guess it is fortunate He is very patient with us.