KUALA LUMPUR:- Fr Edwin Peter said Lent is for us to seek repentance and seek God closer and His mercy.
Fr Edwin said this after the Entrance Hymn at the 9.15am Mass on March 4, 2018 (Third Sunday of Lent) at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where he presided. Deacon Simon Lau assisted.
The Gospel was proclaimed by Deacon Simon and the deacon also preached the homily. He said Jesus never needed any evidence of any man because He knows. Jesus knows us very well and knows us deep inside. Sometimes what we do is a show; Jesus knows our motives and why we are doing it.
Deacon Simon said in Jesus times, the Jews expected to go on pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem. As Christians, we are called to do it a different way. Jesus visited the temple where they believe God is inside the Temple in Jerusalem, into the section -the holy of holiest. Where only the high priest allowed to go in once a year. Man cannot see God, once you see God you die.
"All of us, after we are baptized are given as a temple of the Holy Spirit to dwell. Furthermore, if we look at our Christian community, every person, we are the temple, Body of Christ. Especially during the Season of Lent, we are called to go deeper into the 'temple' and meet God.
Deacon Simon added that the Jews somehow loses their focus and the temple became a market place as Jesus described it in today's Gospel (John 2:13-25). What does it comes to your mind?, asked Deacon Simon. Market is a place dirty and noisy (not like hypermarket with air conditioned). It is a place where a lot of trading or even cheating takes place,very busy. "Suppose to go into the temple to offer sacrifice, but the Jews loses their focus on God and instead caught up with this trading. Jesus who seldom is angry, appears angry in this incident, for turning His Father's house into a market place.
During Lent, we are called to fast, prayer and alms giving. Purpose why are we coming to Church every Sunday? We may just lose our focus if obligation was the reason why we come?
Deacon Simon said last week he preached about door. Many doors, are we able to open the door and able to allow God to go in? We are caught up with so many things.God usually respect us, respect our decision, won't break into our door. Except the devil who comes in like a thief to steal.
Except in a situation, like in case of emergency; to save you. God will break into our door when He saw something serious wrong. Just like in today's Gospel, as in emergency, Jesus had to chase the people out of the temple.
Deacon Simon told the assembly that sometimes in our life, we may experience such situation, until we repent. To know that God cares.If we don't believe, no point to come here but we believe in Him, believe in heaven. We better be serious, for our faith is not just rituals or Sunday obligation. What we celebrate here on Sunday, need to live it out the rest of the week.
Touching on the 1st Reading about the very basis of the law of life, Deacon Simon said the Jews lose the point and invented 620 over laws, some of them not even necessary. Some of these laws takes away our focus of God.
"These Ten Commandments is basically love God, and love your neighbour, and love yourself. These three are interconnected", added Deacon Simon. Of those who do not know how to love God and experience God's love; they do not know how to love themselves.
Do not let all things in life take away our focus of life.
Deacon Simon also stated that many of us do not know how to be silent. When at the monthly First Friday Holy Hour, is about presence of the Lord. We need more silence adoration,to develop and have such relationship with the Lord. Spending quality time with the Lord in silence adoration.
In ending, Deacon Simon invited the assembly to pray asking God to give us His grace and Spirit to renew our faith, not just functioning but to be more spiritual. "We are spiritual beings, not just functional beings". May God guide us and strengthen our faith.