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Sunday, March 19, 2006

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Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 20:1-17
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Psalm 19
John 2:13-25

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jesus, bingo, lottery, and raffles

"In the temple precincts He came upon people engaged in selling oxen, sheep and doves, and others seated changing coins." —John 2:14

As I write this, on a Sunday morning, we will soon celebrate Mass. The ushers are busily collecting money and lighting candles. Before Mass, there will be announcements. The first announcement will be about the $200 door prize for bingo this afternoon. During Mass, we will not preach because the bishop has a tape on the archdiocesan fund drive. After Mass, there will be two groups at the door. One will sell our monthly church lottery tickets. The other will sell tickets on hams which will be raffled off at our Lenten fund-raiser. (Yes, you read correctly.)

Everything that I have just said is literally true. As I write, all of these appeals are being made in less than one hour to those going to church here this Sunday morning in Lent. Don't get me wrong. I'm not out to criticize the dedicated people of this parish. But is Jesus pleased with this? Can you imagine Jesus calling bingo or raffling off hams to support His ministry?

Jesus said and says: "Get them out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!" (Jn 2:16) "He made a [kind of] whip of cords and drove sheep and oxen alike out of the temple area, and knocked over the moneychangers' tables, spilling their coins" (Jn 2:15).

Prayer:  Lord, have mercy.

Promise:  "Christ is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. For God's folly is wiser than men, and His weakness more powerful than men." —1 Cor 1:24-25

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who is the Lion of Judah (Rv 5:5) and turns the tables on all of us.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our tape Fund Raising and Faith Raising on audio AV 45-3 or video V-45.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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