Fr. Vincent Hawkswell
The First Commandment forbids superstition (attributing magical importance to rituals or things, even sacramentals, like rosaries or candles); magic or sorcery (attempting to harness occult powers and gain supernatural power over others, for either good or evil); divination (having recourse to Satan or demons or conjuring up the dead); and any practice falsely supposed to “unveil” the future (astrology, horoscopes, Ouija boards, tarot cards, omens, lots, charms, mediums, clairvoyance, fortune-telling, palm-reading, psychic reading, etc.). (2021)
Fr. Austin Fleming
A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS
“Thou Shalt Not!” (Can you hear God’s voice from those biblical epics?) Is it the vocabulary of the 10 Commandments that makes them so daunting? Would they be less foreboding if we heard them in simpler terms?
The old wild and woolly west was a simpler time and very much in need of law and order. How might God have given the 10 Commandments to a bunch of cowboys? Maybe something like this?
- Just ONE sheriff in town: the Lord your God.
- When ya use my name, ya better mean it.
- Lay off the trail on the 7th day: stop by, pay a visit.
- Do what your Ma and Pa tell ya.
- No killin’ folks.
- Dance with the one ya came with.
- No thievin’, no cheatin’.
- No lyin’.
- Keep your eyes and your hands off the one next door.
- And don’t go hankering after what ain’t yours.
Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr
In the Gospel of this 3rd Sunday of lent (B), Jesus drives out traders from the temple and in the First Reading God gives the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. How do these readings accompany us on our Lenten journey? (2018)
Fr. Chama’s reflection is divided into the following sections:
- My experience
- “Take these things out of here!”
- Jesus, new temple
- My Sinai
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino
DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG
We cheapen the First Commandment into, simply, don’t practice idolatry, as though we are inclined to offer incense to a statue in our homes. But the commandment is much more than this. It is a commandment not to put anything before God. The materialist is an idol worshiper. His God is his money, his stuff. A person caught up in promiscuity is an idol worshiper, his God is his body. The selfish narcissistic individual is an idol worshiper, his God is himself. The Jewish Temple priests of today’s Gospel were more concerned with the money they were making in the Temple than worshiping God in the Temple. Jesus accused them of making money their god, violating the first commandment. He threw them out of the Temple. (2021)
Today’s readings remind us of the struggles and commitments that help us to grow closer to God. They offer us an opportunity to reflect on the expectations for membership in a faith community… As we prepare ourselves to celebrate Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, we should acknowledge the struggles and requirements that come with faith. Likewise, we should continue to pray and reflect on the significance of the paschal mystery.(2021)
Fr. George Smiga
BUILDING ON THE WORD
Look at your own life over the past year. If you cannot think of any time when you were angry, that is not necessarily a good thing. Never being angry does not make us holy; in fact, it might indicate that we are indifferent, indifferent to the injustice and evils that are a part of our world. If, on the other hand, you look over the past year and realize that you are always angry, that is not a good thing either. When we suddenly burst into rage at the slightest comment, when we explode without any reason, when we discover that we are living constantly with an internal tension, that is an indication that there are unresolved issues in our life that need to be faced. That is a sign that destructive anger controls us. And destructive anger needs to be eliminated. (2006)
Title of Fr. Smiga’s other homilies for this Sunday (located on the same page) are:
- Seeing the ultimate sacrifice
- Enlarging our picture of Jesus
- Looking backwards
- Standing in truth
Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ
SUNDAY WEB SITE
Each of the commandments, it can be said, is not some external and irrational fiat from an alien God. Rather, each is an expression of the truth God has made in us. If we worship idols or worship our work, if we covet person or property, if we dishonor those who have given us life, we not only reject the law of God, we destroy what we are. For the duty imposed on us by God is not a function of Kant’s pure rationality or some arbitrary legislation of a distant deity. It is the duty to be true to what we are—limited but loved creatures. (1997)
Definitely, we have to move from the observance of the “Thou shalt nots” of the 10 Commandments to the Commandment of Love. We are to show our love for the Father by our care for and service to others in need and not for personal gain. This is what to follow Jesus means. And this is what we should work on not only during this season of Lent but for the rest of our life.
What makes us lose our cool? We may fly off the handle when we are personally hurt, when somebody we love is being hurt, or something we care deeply about is not respected.
The death of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, on the Cross shows us clearly the great love that He has for each one of us. For more than twenty centuries, we Christians have proclaimed, and we continue to proclaim with integrity and joy, that by the Cross we are redeemed and saved.
All our activities are to be done in the light of the first commandment (first reading), “You shall have no gods, except me” (Ex. 20:3). All other commandments follow from this. I venture to say that what made Jesus angry was the worship of money in God’s own house. Such worship of money is related to the present modern temptations of materialism, sensualism, and consumerism. These are the worship of things, pleasures, and commodities. This idolatry angers God.
We live in a society where, for many, vengeance is more important than mercy. God does not desire His “pound of flesh” from us even though He would certainly be entitled to it. Instead, as far as the east is from the west does God put our sins away from Himself. Sharing God’s mercy with others can do more to bring a person to accepting God in their lives than anything we might ever be able to say to them. Let us share the mercy we have received from God with those we meet so that they can know the source of our joy and be willing to turn their lives over to God as well.
What we do when we receive the sacrament of confession is we make ourselves a tabernacle capable to housing the Blessed Sacrament. Consider what happens to a place in which is contained a tabernacle that houses the Blessed Sacrament. It becomes a sacred space. When we make ourselves a fit tabernacle, through confession, in order to house the Eucharist, we are carrying a tabernacle with us wherever we go.