Third Sunday of Lent: What do we Desire?

Third Sunday of Lent: What do we Desire? March 5, 2018

This past Sunday, I was trying to think about what I should write for my reflection, but I couldn’t really come up with anything… that is until I hit my Holy Hour this morning. This week in the Gospel, we heard about Jesus casting out the money changers from the temple for creating a “den of thieves.” Now, this Gospel is very easy to use in speaking about corruption and whatnot, but I really don’t feel like going on a tirade about corruption and blah, blah, blah… what hit me was this: this Gospel is about desires.

You might be saying, “hold on, isn’t this Gospel about Christ’s pointing to how he will fulfill scripture? And how it isn’t the temple of Jerusalem, but the temple of His Body that will be torn down and rebuilt in three days?” Yes, all of this is correct, but deep down this Gospel is about desires. What do we, as humans desire?

This post isn’t going to be focusing on Biblical Scripture and theological foundations as much as it is focusing on what my heart wants to say to you.

The Gospel this week points us toward humanity’s corruption of keeping Holy our covenant with God. How so? Well, why are there money changers in the temple to begin with? The money changers were actually members of the temple itself selling sacrifices to be offered. Most of the Jewish people who came to offer sacrifice either a) could not transport sacrifices over great distances or b) could not find sacrifices worthy enough to offer. Enter the money changers. They were selling worthy sacrifices to the Jews who came at inflated rates. Now, yes they were helping others with their devotional life, but that would be like priests selling Holy Water to use at a Baptism, not cool right? To make matters worse, the Jewish people could not use Roman money at the temple because the temple did not accept money other than Jewish or Tyrian money. So of course the exchange rate was adjusted for inflation. So why did they do this? What caused them to seek such wealth even if it was corrupted wealth? They were sinful men. Plain and simple. The desire in their hearts was the desire to gain status and social wealth. Hmmmmm isn’t that not much different than we do today? In the dawn of the technological era with media, we have become obsessed with status. Now, this is not a commentary on that, rather it is a commentary on where that desire comes from. What do we desire?

Ideally, we desire holiness. But it seems this is no longer the case. Whether we are afflicted with greed, lust, envy, etc. we continue to desire things. I guess what I am asking on top of what do we desire is; why is our desire not God? Why do we turn ourselves from Him for these things of the world? Why do we send ourselves into the depth of sin and ignore the call to holiness? First off, the Holy life is not easy at all. So yeah, we might be turned away from the desire for holiness because of that, but why should strife and difficulties hold us back? Humans can do incredible things! We really can do anything that we set our minds to. So what is cluttering our minds with all of this nonsense? Obviously, I am asking these rhetorical questions because I hope that you go and pray on them. I can’t answer them because I’m still trying to figure out the answers for myself.

All in all, the main message I want to convey is this; what do we desire? If the answer is anything but the Lord, then I posit that we need to re-evaluate our entire lives and conform them to God’s will for us. Because anything other than Him, will cause us nothing but misery…

~John Paul

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