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Third Sunday of Lent [CYCLE B]

MAIN MESSAGE
[This is for reference only. Please do not read it at Mass]

The Gospel story of Jesus cleansing the temple leads us to look into our own lives. At Baptism
we invite God to be Lord of our lives. But often our lives are filled with other things and God has no
place in our thoughts or hearts.
We look at the ways that we can ‘cleanse our temples’ and invite God back where he belongs.
We do this by ensuring that we keep aside time for prayer, both personal and family. Equally important,
we invite God into all our activities: our work and relaxation, eating and sleeping, shopping and
entertaining. A present day parable of a grandmother’s visit to her son’s house will help the children
understand the message and take it to heart.

INTRODUCTION:
Celebrant: Look at the poster. It asks a question. ‘Does God
have a place in your heart? That means, do you love him? Do
you talk to him, and listen to him? This is a very important
question, because your heart was made by God and for God. If
you have no place for God in your heart, today you can try and
change that.
LITURGY OF THE WORD:
Commentator: In the first reading God reminds us, ‘I am the
Lord your God.’ He has to be first in our lives. If we really love
him, we must obey his commandments.
First Reading: Exodus 20: 1-3, 7-8, 12-17.

Psalm: 19:7,8, 9cd-10ab.

Commentator: At the time of Jesus, the people had built a


grand temple for God. But they were more interested in money
than in God, and there was a lot of buying and selling going on
in the temple, instead of praying. Let’s see what Jesus did when
he came to the temple.
Gospel: John 2:13-22.

Homily:
Celebrant: Did you listen to the Gospel? What did Jesus see when he entered the temple? [People
selling birds and animals; and moneychangers sitting at their tables.]
• What did he do when he saw this? [He made a whip and chased all of them out. He turned over the
moneychangers’ tables.]
• Do you think those people loved God? [Not much!] Then what did they love? [Money] That is why
Jesus got angry and chased them out. They should have been thinking of God in the temple, not about
making money.
• I would like to tell you a story that will help you understand what God wants from us.
The Pereira family had recently moved to a nice 3-bedroom flat in a fancy society. There was a
father, mother and two children, Rhea and Ryan. One day Daddy said, “We bought this lovely flat with
the money Granny gave us. Why don’t we invite her to spend some weeks with us?”
Everyone agreed and so that same day he phoned his mother and asked her to come. When
Granny arrived, everyone welcomed her at the door with hugs and kisses. They showed her the room they
had prepared for her. After dinner Granny opened her suitcase and out came gifts for each one.
“I’m so happy to be here with you all! Thank you for inviting me!” she said. “Ma, this is really
your house, so you shouldn’t thank us. You are always welcome here!” said Daddy.
The next day, Daddy and Mummy went off to work. Granny called out to Rhea, “Rhea, come and
sit with me for a little while. I have some photos to show you.” But Rhea, busy dressing up and doing her
hair called out, “Not now, Granny. I’m going to my friend’s house and then I’m going for dancing class.
I’ll see them tomorrow.”
So Granny called out to Ryan. “Baba, come here for a little while.” But Ryan was busy watching a
cricket match on TV. He turned the volume up high and pretended he couldn’t hear. Granny gave up. She
sat quietly in her room and said the rosary and then read a book.
When Mummy came home and went into the kitchen Granny said. “Can I help you? I can clean
the bhaji for you or cut onions.” “No Ma, I’m used to doing everything phataa-phat. You go and sit
quietly in your room and relax.”
At last Daddy came home. When she heard him come in, Granny thought, “I’m sure my son will
be happy to talk to me!” She ran to the door. “Hello son. How was your day? Can I make you a cup of
tea?” “No ma, I’m fine.” said Daddy and sat down next to Ryan who was still watching the match. The
sound was so loud that no one could talk to each other.
The next few days, it was the same story. No one had time to talk to Granny and no one wanted
her help. After a week, when everyone had gone out, Granny sat down and thought about it. “I don’t think
anyone really wants me here!” she thought. So she packed her suitcase and phoned for a taxi to take her
to the bus-station. Before she left she wrote a note to the family and put it on the table.
When the family came home, what a shock they got! There was no sign of Granny anywhere. All
her clothes were missing. Then the found the note. It said, “Dear children, Thank-you for inviting me to
your house. I am going away because I don’t think you really need me or want me. Goodbye! Granny.”
• Did you like the way the family treated Granny?... We often treat God in the same way! Just as the
family invited Granny, at our Baptism we invite God into our lives. And God comes.
• Just as the Pereira’s flat was a gift from Granny, your life came from God. It is right that God should
live in you, because he made you and he loves you.
• But after God comes to live in your heart, how do you treat him? Do you keep him in one corner and
forget all about him? Some families have a special altar for God. They put pictures and candles and
flowers. But after that they forget God. They carry on with their work, play, eating and sleeping,
watching TV and going for music class, dancing class, tutions…
• God doesn’t want to be kept in one corner, like Granny was kept in her room. He wants to be part of
your life. He wants us to take his help in everything we do.
• So how can we give God his rightful place?
 Spend time with him everyday. Sit alone with him and talk to him and listen to him.
 Sit with him as a family and pray to him together.
 Ask his help whatever you are doing: studying, working, visiting.
 Invite him into all your activities. That means, do what he asks. Suppose you want to watch a
movie, ask, “God should I watch now? Is this a movie you would like me to watch, or not?”
Listen in your heart, and obey.
APPROPRIATE HYMNS PREPARATION REQUIRED:
ENTRANCE: From the Rising of the Sun
OFFERTORY: Like a Sunflower • Practice the readings.
COMMUNION: Into My Heart… Into My Life • Make poster and put up.
RECESSIONAL: Praise Him… Love Him…

FIR ST REA DING : A reading from the book of Exodus.


The Lord gave Moses these commandments:
I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. So do not
worship any god except me.
Do not misuse my name, I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my
name. Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me.
Respect your father and mother, and you will live a long life in the land that I am giving you.
Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others.
Do not want what belongs to someone else. Do not want anyone’s house or wife or slaves
or cattle or donkeys or anything else.
This is the Word of the Lord.

PSALM : Response: Lord, you have the words of everlasting li fe .


The Law of the Lord is perfect; The Lord’s instruction is right; All of his decisions
it gives us new life. it makes our hearts glad. are correct and fair.
His teachings last forever, His commands shine brightly, and They are worth more
and they give wisdom they give us light. than the finest gold.
to ordinary people.

ACCLA MA TION : Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Rid yourselves of all your sins and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

GOSPEL : A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John.


Not long before the Jewish festival of the Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. There he found people
selling cattle, sheep, and doves in the temple. He also saw moneychangers sitting at their tables.
So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with
their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins.
Jesus said to the people who had been selling doves, “Get those doves out of here! Don’t make my
Father’s house a market-place.”
The disciples remembered that the Scriptures say, “My love for your house burns in me like a fire.”
The Jewish leaders asked Jesus, “What miracle will you work to show us why you have done this?”
“Destroy this temple,” Jesus answered, “and in three days I will build it up again!”
The leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it
in three days?”
But Jesus was talking about his body as a temple. And when he was raised from death, his disciples
remembered what he had told them. Then they believed the Scriptures and the words of Jesus.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
NB. All Readings are taken from the ‘Lectionary for Masses with Children’ canonically approved for use in the USA.