GO FOR IT!, Sunday Gospel Reflection 3rd Sunday of Lent by Fr. Sergio Santos, OFM

Our Lord Jesus Christ in his public ministry had spent time preaching in Galilee and its neighborhood, as well as Jerusalem. He gave the “leaders of the people” in Jerusalem lots of chances of hearing his message and mission. He performed miracles in and near the city.

His miracles: The man crippled for 38 years (Jn 5); the man born blind (Jn 19); the raising of his friend Lazarus from the tomb for 4 days (Jn 9).

The Gospel writer St. John emphasized that the leaders (priests and Pharisees) in Jerusalem were given the opportunities to know who Jesus Christ is and to believe in him. However, they did not listen to him and therefore lost due to their fault.

In the Gospel scenario, it is clear that he is extraordinarily unique; he is very intimate with God and the Son of God. This was the first time that Jesus Christ got angry with those in the temple area selling oxen, sheep, and doves as well as with the money changers. He “spilled the coins of the moneychangers” and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he shouted, “Take these out of here and stop making my Father’s house a market place.”

In a mysterious language, Jesus Christ revealed to them that he would be put to death but would rise again. Some of the leaders seemingly remembered this saying after he was put to death at Calvary; they requested Pontius Pilate to post a guard by his tomb lest his disciples might remove his body and pretend he had risen.

This event of Jesus Christ’s RESURRECTION did not make the majority believe he is the Son of God. They had closed their minds and thought he was supernaturally gifted and believed he was juts a miracle worker. Whatever their reasons for not believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God could be the same for the millions of this present day and age who refuse to believe and live the Christian faith. Like those leaders in the year 28, they are engrossed in worldly affairs, ambitions, and desire for wealth, fame, and power that they neglect their own spiritual life. They literally sold their souls to the devil.

The priests and the Pharisees were hoping for a Messiah who could build a world empire, including limitless wealth, fame and power. They wanted more than political freedom from Rome. Worldly ambitions and allurements are the priority in life, thus forgetting the spiritual realm of life.

In our present day and age, there are many little or big events in life, things, nature, and people that should tell us of the power and grandeur of God, as well as the LOVE of God shown in his MERCY and COMPASSION. There are many beautiful temples and churches in the whole world that could remind one of spiritual life.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the agnostics and the scientists of this digital age would one day realize that Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father out of LOVE to save humanity from sin and death. The saving events of the INCARNATION of Christ, PASSION, DEATH on Calvary, RESURRECTION and ASCENSION into heaven are the fulfillment of our SALVATION. Jesus Christ did not leave us orphans because he made us the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit and thereby we have GOD WITH US eternally. As Roman Catholic Christians we admit that Jesus Christ is the center of our life and the CONTROLLER o the world and the universe.

We are greatly blessed with our spiritual heritage from the Old Testament to the New Testament down to the present digital generation. If we could only be always thankful and grateful to God by living our lives according to his will, with expectant HOPE for his grace of MERCY and COMPASSION, so that on the Last Day (Final Judgement), we would be allowed to enjoy the dwelling place reserved for each of God’s children who are FAITHFUL to him. This is the CHALLENGE for everyone. “Do not be afraid” and GO FOR IT!

About Fr. Serge and his other reflections.