Third Sunday of Lent – Year B
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: Mar 4 2018
God is almighty, God is all powerful, God is all knowing, God is everywhere. Probably most of us here would have no trouble saying this about God.
But, as Catholics, our Christian faith as heard in St. Paul today, speaks of Christ crucified. So our vision is of a crucified God. As St. Paul says, this crucified Christ is foolishness and weakness to our world’s way of seeing things. A God who seems foolish, who seems weak. Yet, it is here that we have the true wisdom, the true strength of God. We have the vision that we need to embrace.
Our world at times desires leaders who are strong and dominating. Controlling everyone and everything. Leaders are to maintain control and order. To help us to win over others. So, we see leaders from Putin, to Kim Jong Un, to Donald Trump offering bigger weapons, declaring their so called power, threats of violence and war.
But, the God revealed in Jesus is not interested in control power over others, but in love. God rejects force and violence. The crucified God shows us the way of non-violence.
We are to embrace a non-violent way of being with others, at work, in our family…Our God chooses non-violence for God is interested in creating a civilization of love.
Jesus, cleansing the Temple, challenges them, “stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” The whole universe is the Father’s house, our planet earth is the Father’s house, our whole human society is the Father’s house. What kind of human world does God desire?
A civilization of love or a marketplace? A marketplace world sees us all competing against one another, winners and losers, rich and poor, strong and weak. A marketplace world sees a small number of very rich and very large number in poverty. A marketplace world sees us all divided into separate groups, divided by religion, by race, by country, by ideology.
But, a civilization of love sees us in solidarity, one human family. Working together for a common good. Where we care for one another and we strive that not one person is abandoned. We are not divided into separate groups opposing one another, but see each other as brothers and sisters working together so that no one is left out.
Our first reading presents the Ten Commandments. These are not rules and laws to control our lives. But, a way that leads to true peace, to harmony within the world. If we were to follow the 10 commandments it would lead to harmony within the world, it would lead to harmony within our families.
Our God is the crucified God, seeming foolish and weak to our world’s way of thinking. This crucified God offers us a vision of non-violence. It is the path that leads to a civilization of love rather than a marketplace.
Are we ready to embrace a crucified God and the non-violent way this God reveals? This will be the difference between a world that is a heartless marketplace and a world which is a civilization of love.