The Third Sunday of Lent: The Cleansing of the Temple

by Fr. Kilian McCaffrey  |  02/29/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Today we hear that Jesus visited the Temple in Jerusalem for the first of the three Passovers that are referenced in St. John’s Gospel. Shocked by what He saw, He made a whip of cords and indignantly drove out the animals for sacrifice and the money-changers:

“‘Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’ His disciples recalled the words of Scripture:

‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’”

Exploitation of the poor, of one’s neighbor, was taking place in the Temple, the holy place of worship of God. This sacrilegious practice showed disdain not only for one’s neighbor, but especially for God Himself. The abhorrent, external practices revealed the internal state of those who were making the place of the worship of God the Father, a “den of thieves.”

Today’s first reading is from the Book of Exodus and contains the giving of the Law to Moses. These Ten Commandments are also known as the Decalogue, or the “Ten Words.”

Are The Commandments Important Today? They most certainly are. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “Since they express man’s fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations…The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart.” (CCC 2072).

Parish Engagement Study

This is an exciting time as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, reflect on our history, and plan for our future as a Catholic community. At this time, I would like to give every single person an opportunity to provide me with their thoughts and de-sires for our parish.

I want us to collectively assess where we stand as a Catholic community of faith. Your feedback will bring a deeper understanding on how best to form our faith at both a personal and parish level.

I have commissioned what is known as a Parish Engagement Study that will gather opinions from every family and individual about hopes and expectations for faith on a community and personal level. The results of the study will be revealed to the parish upon its completion.

Cosgriff Company, a Catholic organization doing this work exclusively for Catholic parishes and schools for over 63 years, will conduct our study. All of your responses go directly to the company and will remain completely confidential. This information will also allow us to plan for the future of the parish.

About fifty (50) personal interviews will be conducted involving a cross-section of people. Since it is not possible to interview everyone, the same questions will be compiled into a survey that will be sent to every parish household.

The survey will arrive by regular mail this coming week. You have the option to complete the mail survey and return it in a postage paid envelope or visit our website. I genuinely ask for your candid and honest responses. They will provide valuable insight critical to our long term needs and desires. Look for the survey in your mailbox.

Fr. Kilian, Fr. Joseph, Deacons and our great Parish Staff, Disciples and Volunteers