Sermon thoughts – 3rd Sunday in Lent – „Oculi“ (Ex 3, 1-8a.13-15; 1Cor 10,1-6.10-12; Lk 13,1-9)
“Oculi mei semper ad Dominum“ (Ps 25,15)
“My eyes are ever towards the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.” (Ps 25, 15)
The readings of this Sunday may appear little tough to common readers.
Let us start with the second reading. In the first letter to Corinthians St Paul tells a brief history of the early Jews. They were with Moses, seen wonders of God in the Desert; ate heavenly food and drank from Rocks….but most of them couldn’t survive the Desert. (Even Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.)
In the Gospel Jesus is mentioning two incidents happened in Palestine.
The first one is not something truly historical – at least not historically stated or a mix of 2 incidents. It is the killing of some Samaritans by Pilate. Some relate this event to the massacre of a certain rebellious group under Judas the Galilean. Jesus’ words in the Gospel proves that, people related these (two ?) events….
The second story in the Gospel is about the death of 18 people in the pool of Bethesda, where people waited for their ritual purification baths (John 5). The name “Bethesda” itself means “House of Mercy”, but (innocent) people were killed without mercy in an accident.
St Paul and Jesus questions the listeners: what can be the cause of the death of such people? Did they die due to / in their sins or is the God so merciless?
Jesus has (only) one answer: “Repent, or Perish”
Perish or death is not associated with the Body. We know Jesus was less concerned about the external outfits and body. By perish or death, he aims the end of the Soul. That means, one may encounter tragic end in his life, even if he / she is a believer or not. What happens with the Body is not very much important. How safe the souls are, is a matter…
In that way Jesus justifies and explains his own passion and death. Cross was not a good place to die. But Jesus is not irritated about that. Because he was sure that his Soul is fully entrusted in his Father. He was sure, the soul is important.
This Penance or Repentance becomes meaningful when one starts his life in search of God. It is a turning point, turn to God. With that one starts looking for the deeper meaning of God. It is a search for the ultimate truth. This can/ should happen in our daily life, through normal events.
The First reading gets connected to the other readings in such a way.
Moses’ experience of burning Bush is a symbol. He sees the fire.
He wants to know more. This desire moves him to God. He enters in to a new “world of Holiness by removing his sandals”.
He could hear and enjoy God in a special way.
This is a turning point in the life of Moses and in the history of the Jews. Thus they enter in to a new “Theo- Sphere”, the new world of God.
The God is the God of Life; “one who am” …
Faith is thus a look in to deeper experiences of God. It is a call to know more on the God of my faith. This God is some one who is like the Fire. Some one who is on fire, but not consuming; some one who exists, but not against the existence of others. In other words, he is a God who wishes the eternal existence of the Souls.
We may be baptised: we will be receiving sacraments: we will be pious and trustworthy to the Church.
All these external matters are only meaningful once our life,
our spiritual life relate to it.
If it is sincere, other external damages and perishes can be nothing for us.
For that we need the “repentance” –
“a true and meaningful turning back to the God of Existence”.
Let this 3rd week in the Lent help us to get closer to the divine call.
Let us experience the call of God, the fire and light and sound of God in our daily lives, just as Moses experienced and realized it.
Let this time be fruitful in that way. God Bless us all. Amen!