3rd Sunday of Lent, C
Becoming a Great Saint Is All About Jesus (Fr. Bill)
My dear Children of God: Becoming great saints living in extraordinary holiness is our theme for Lent. It
really is the point of all preaching and the goal of life in Christ Jesus.
In today’s first reading God says to Moses: “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Coming into the presence of Thee Almighty is a big deal and should be treated as such. Do you acknowledge the All Holy One when you enter church? We do that by genuflecting. When was the last time you genuflected to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as you entered or left the church? If you can’t genuflect, bow. If you can’t bow, pause for a moment of recognition. God doesn’t need our bodies to acknowledge Him, but the use of our bodies to do so helps us to acknowledge Him with our hearts. He doesn’t need our souls to acknowledge Him (God needs nothing from us) but He is pleased with the humble acknowledgments of His beloved children. Reintroducing (or introducing) the simple habit of bowing your spirit through the physical, tangible action of
genuflection before the All Holy One as you enter and leave church is one specific thing you can do to grow in holiness.
In today’s second reading St Paul, speaking about the Jews who died in the desert, says to the Corinthians and to us, “These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us.”
Without going into detail, the bottom line is that we need to be doing something deliberate, conscious and active on our journey to sainthood. We must be actively pursuing extraordinary holiness. What are you doing to become great saints or to live in extraordinary holiness? Genuflecting? Attending parish missions? (We just happen to have one starting this very weekend.) Adoration? (Have you signed up to ‘watch one hour’ with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?) Confession (Reconciliation/Penance)? (In spite of eleven years of heartfelt preaching the
majority of our parishioners do not receive this amazing sacrament paid for in the blood of Christ and given to us freely.) The bottom line is DO SOMETHING so that God can make you a great saint.
In Today’s Gospel Jesus says, “… do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in
Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” Willingness to
repent is essential to being a disciple of Jesus and is therefore a vital ingredient in becoming a great saint. John the Baptist introduces Jesus, and Jesus introduces His Gospel telling us to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Repentance is difficult at first for two reasons. 1.) We have to face unpleasant things in ourselves that we’d rather ignore hoping they will go away all by themselves. And/Or 2.) We have to let go of sinful things to which we have become attached. But when repentance has become a steadfast attitude that informs my soul in all that I do, it
becomes sheer joy illuminating every moment of every day with the brilliant Light Which is Jesus Himself.
In the first few weeks of Lent you may have noticed that after communion we pray “Jesus, it’s all about You.” Jesus is the only power able to make you a holy saint:
Y When my life belongs to Jesus I want to genuflect upon coming into church. Heck, I want to genuflect when I see a beautiful sunset, or powerful icebergs or glaciers – not to the beauty of nature but to the Author of the beauty of nature. My heart bows before my ‘Abba God’ as ‘Thee Almighty,’ the ‘Biggest, Baddest Monster of Them All,’ the ‘All Holy One.’
Y When my heart belongs to Jesus the cross of Christ is not just a warning against sin. It is a call to victory, to glory.
Y When my soul belongs to Jesus I no longer need to be threatened with death and/or damnation to repent. My whole being celebrates the joy that comes from repentance.
When I belong to Jesus perfectly, I will be a great saint living in extraordinary holiness. Until the day of that perfection let us walk together in the footsteps of Jesus, walking the Way with all the great saints who now live in the extraordinary holiness of Heaven.