Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
The first reading gives us the Ten Commandments; the second reading talks to us about “Christ crucified – the divine foolishness”. In the Gospel we see the cleansing of the Temple. As our Lenten journey progresses, this Sunday’s readings are very important. These readings call us for a cleansing. It is the ideal time for cleaning out the Temple of our own hearts and to offer to God proper divine worship by obeying the Ten Commandments. The whole nation grieved over the mass shooting at the school in Florida. The death of these innocent students and teachers once more provoked the media to make use of this opportunity to increase their ratings; so they all had had debates on gun control. They argued with each other, accused each other and left it for the next opportunity to repeat the same debate. If you pay attention, just a few weeks have passed since the massacre and there are no more debates and no more breaking news. So what are we waiting for? Are we waiting for another opportunity, another death, and another massacre of innocent students? This is, I believe, the right time for us to come together and take a look at what the reasons are behind all this evil in our society. I recently was looking up the history on mass shootings in the United States, especially in the schools, and I found out that there was a significant increase after the years 1963 and 1964. I am sure you are well aware of this particular year, 1964, when the Supreme Court decided not to have any more prayer in the schools. When they took out the Ten Commandments and gradually the statues, the crucifixes and the basic moral principles of our founding fathers not only from schools, but from city courts and squares we opened the door to evil. Now we are trying to control the evil that came into our system when we took away God. So it is true what Jesus says in the Gospel, we cannot have both: God and Evil at the same time. So we conveniently took out God, his Ten Commandments, his statues, his presence away from schools, so automatically the devil comes in. There is no question about it. Now we are standing together (hopefully) to come to eliminate the evil with a higher power of evil by arming the teachers to fight against the potential threat or crime that may appear or by guarding the schools with armed soldiers. Are we living in Syria or any of the war front countries? What will happen to the freedom of our children? What is our goal? Are we trying to eliminate evil by using evil? We have to go back to the basics of our Christian principles. Many people think that the cross is a scandal. And that’s what St. Paul today says to us: It’s foolishness to the gentiles and a scandal to the Jews but for those who believe, it is the power of redemption. St. Paul repeats to us God’s foolishness is better than our human wisdom. His weaknesses are stronger than human strength. It is not with our human strength that we defeat evil. It is with Divine power and trusting in him that we defeat the evil power. So let us try our best to reinforce, our values as we gather in our families and by having our voices heard in the media and in political debate to change or bring back the Christian principles to our society and back to our schools. That is what we have to do. We have to do something! What can we do with our lives during this Lenten season as we hear Jesus call in today’s Gospel? Let us think about what is happening in our own daily life: what is happening with the Ten Commandments in our life? Do we know them? Do we practice them? Or do we at least see them? Are the Commandments visible in your home – on your refrigerator or hanging on a wall? Where is the place of the bible in our life, in our families, in our homes? What is the place of God in our families? Do we pray together? Is there anything in our families that reminds us and our children of his Presence? This is the time that we have to entrust our little ones under the protection of Divine power rather than human power. Again, I was reading through many articles on gun shootings and I came to know two realities that we should be aware of which is first of all the availability of machine guns inside the country to purchase. For self-protection the most we should have is a pistol. The second thing I came to know is that our children are constantly playing video games with killing and shooting. This impacts their brains. There is an invasion of evil without us knowing it. Our own and our children’s goodness of heart and moral values are taken away by the evil powers. There are places where we have to step up and start talking and start spreading the Ten Commandments, not the guns. Put back the Ten Commandments and prayers in the schools, public courts, and public squares and we will have peace. Not with guns. We cannot solve problems by fighting fire with fire.
God Bless You,