March 4, 2018 – Third Sunday of Lent

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This may be a little unorthodox from prior reflections, but sometimes my mind jumps in many different directions, chasing many different ideas while pursuing one resolution. I desire to go home. I want to be with the Father in Heaven. I want to be a better man, each day. Because of that, my mind searches, always. It searches for what He is trying to show me. It may take me jumping from the first reading to the Gospel, back to the first, through the second and then into the Gospel again, or just a walk around the street. The point is, I’m seeking. I’m seeking a way home and His words show me the way. Because of my humanness, I blur those words sometimes by looking in the wrong direction. The powerful thing is though, He is always at the end of each path; I simply must choose Him.

In the first reading from Exodus, we hear about the very core of our calling, our direction to follow; our “game plan” of life, if you will. God lays it out for us pretty clearly as to what we are to do if we are going to follow Him as well as lead others along the journey. A journey we pray leads us home.

How do you stand with the Commandments? Have you thought about it? I know there are moments of my life that I’m not focused and, because of that, I find myself walking off the path and away from His desire for me. When those times happen and I find the quiet spot within my heart to ponder His words, I find peace. Peace because I know what I must do. Peace because of the simplicity of what He asks. He doesn’t ask anything more of us than what we are capable of giving.

Think about it! We know He is our Lord. He showed that through eyewitness accounts. In the Gospel from John 2:13-15, we will hear about Jesus being upset about how the temple is being used as a market place. They use the space for trading and bartering. Worshiping? In the temple? Not this one. It broke Jesus’ heart. He tells them, “Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up.” They are confused about this and complain that the physical temple they are working in, they have been doing so for 46 years. 46 years! It doesn’t occur to them until after the Crucifixion and Resurrection that the temple Jesus referred to was not a physical structure but the physical body, the temple of Christ. They saw Him standing there exclaiming this and then witnessed His Resurrection; so we know He is real, alive, the way and the truth! Therefore, we know how easy it should be to love Him above all people and “things.” We have been shown there is no purpose of need to worship anyone or anything other than our God. We have proof that He is our God. He is: The way, the truth and the life!

We continue through the Commandments and look at each of them, “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.” Why would we? Why blasphemy the Creator Who we know loves us, provides for us and pursues each of us daily with every ounce of His being? So much so that He extended His arms as wide as they could reach to hug and love us to the point of His death. He died, so rise! He rose to live for us. He lives for us by living within each of us.

God asks us to rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath. For a reason. Not to lie around the house, play video games, watch football or go fishing, but to be with Him. It is to spend time with Him and grow in faith, love and understanding. He asks us to stop running on the Sabbath and allow Him to catch us. He asks us to spend time with Him. Why wouldn’t we? He’s certainly earned our time and love. Right?

We look at each of the rest of the Commandments:

Honor your father and your mother; You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.

Look at each one of these and tell me which one you simply cannot obey or follow? Any of them. Pick the one that you say, “I draw the line there! That’s a deal breaker for me! I’m not pursuing an eternity in Heaven with the Father because that’s impossible to accept!”

I know how hard it is at times to obey your mothers and fathers. It’s hard because we simply want our independence or the freedom to make decisions for ourselves. I know because I didn’t always do a very good job of that myself. But we are asked to do just that. Our mothers and fathers, regardless if they are biological, adoptive or the figures God places in our lives to lead us, honoring and obeying them connects us to Christ through them. He leads us through our parents through their wisdom, life lessons, understanding and study. Our acceptance and understanding that our parents love us by those directions lead us closer to Christ. Abba. Poppa. Our Heavenly Father.

We can go through each of these Commandments and try to justify our action or inaction to follow any of them, but we would simply be misleading ourselves. We would simply be looking for a path to walk which leads from eternal life with the Father for simple pleasures of this world. Pleasures that will only last a blink of an eye.

I said I would be jumping around a bit. Now, look at the second reading from 1 Corinthians 22-25. In this passage, we’ll hear “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.” This reassures us that for every time we think we are smarter or know better, God’s wisdom will always be greater. There is nothing that He does not know and nothing that He has not thought about and planned for each of us. It will go on to say, “The weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” That, my friends, is POWERFUL! God is telling us that at His weakest point, when He is at the lowest of His abilities, the greatest of our human strength cannot compare to even His lowest. He is telling us that regardless of how bad something is or how low we feel, He is ALWAYS able to come find us, uplift us, protect us, love us and save us. He is telling us that no worldly problem is greater than His Heavenly ability and love for all.

The road has twists, but the roadmap is clear.

Peace be with you, my Brothers and Sisters!

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