Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Greetings to you all!
Third Sunday of Lent Year B
This weekend gospel reading talks about Jesus cleansing the temple in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Temple, in the life of Jews, occupies an important place. It also serves as a religious, cultural and political symbol of the people of Israel. Jerusalem was also a centre of pride for the Jews. The Jerusalem Temple strengthened the religious and social identity of the Jews. The Temple, a place which was supposed to unite the people, served as a dividing and oppressive factor for the gentiles. This arouses the anger of Jesus, because they were fully dominated and oppressed in the temple worship.
In the temple worship, people were divided as pure and impure. All the gentiles, Samaritans, prostitutes, handicapped, eunuchs and diseased persons were considered as ritually impure. Thus, ritual purity rules created division among the people. Only by fulfilling these rules can one perform the religious activities. The poor were unable, as they are already burdened with many other taxes. Thus, at the time of Jesus, even religious justice did not stand on behalf of marginalised people.
Economically, as well, the Jerusalem Temple made the poor sections of society outcasts. As a retribution for sin, they had to offer many kinds of offerings, thus it brought wealth to the temple. Jerusalem was also the single Holy place of the Jews in the world.
The practice of going on pilgrimage three times a year brought constant income to the temple. Sometimes the poor were not able to satisfy the demands of the city and the temple. Thus, the poor were forced to spend from their income during pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s wealthy people and temple profited the most from these pilgrims.
Because of its political importance, Jerusalem also served as centre for trade. Thus, Jerusalem served as the abode of all customs and revenue officials and a ready market for trade. Jerusalem is supposed to serve as the presence of God on earth.
However, looking at the state of affairs of the city and temple, religiously and politically at the time of Jesus, neither the temple nor the city of Jerusalem was the dwelling place of God but was the place of power and mammon. Poor people had no place in Jerusalem or in the temple.
Looking, at this horrible sight in the house of God Jesus grew angry and cleansed the temple of God. Many interpret this act of cleansing of the Temple (Jn 2:13-22), as a violent act of God. But it has a great significance from a religious point of view. The poor were already subjugated by many laws and oppressed by dominant people. They have only some small places in the temple to worship their God; even there they are made outcast. This alone motivates Jesus to fight on behalf of them and thus restores their dignity.
Jesus indeed became angry because, “The existing socio-religious and political system had become the synonym of evil. It had become tremendously inhuman and corrupt …, and doubly problematic. The temple was supposed to be a divine institution and the people in it the chosen ones of God.” Thus, Jesus breaks the conventions of Jewish society. He goes beyond the normal and teaches a new teaching, which is the opposite of their norms of daily life. By cleansing the temple Jesus brings dignity to the gentiles. Amen.
Readings and Hymns
Please click here to download the readings and hymns for the Third Sunday in Lent Year B.
Parish Morning Tea on 7th March 2021
Please join us on 7th March, at the conclusion of 8am Mass for the First Morning Tea for the year. It is a great opportunity to make friends and to catch up with our friends to build a wonderful Parish Community. All are welcome.
St Patrick’s Day Celebrations – Wednesday 17th March
Parishioners are invited to a Concelebrated Mass on 17th March Wednesday at Midday to honour our Patron, St Patrick. Mass will be followed by lunch in the Parish Centre. Please bring a ‘plate’ to share. Please wear ‘Green’ if possible.
All are Welcome.
Stations of the Cross in Lent
Every Friday in Lent, soon after the Midday Mass at 12.30pm, in our Basilica we pray and meditate on the Stations of the Cross and unite ourselves with Jesus’ suffering. This spiritual exercise will help us to understand the love of God which resulted in death on the cross.
Please join us and make every effort to make this Lent a joyful preparation to celebrate the joy of Easter.
Lenten Preparation Programme every Monday
The Lenten Reflection Programme is one of many Spiritual means to prepare well to celebrate the joy of Easter. So kindly join us on Monday 8th March for our Third reflection practice. If you wish to join this reflection group, please contact the Parish Office on 9335 2268, Mon to Fri (9am to 3pm). All are welcome.
Free Lenten Reflection Journal from Centre for Life, Marriage and Family
Centre for Life, Marriage and Family, which is one of the Agencies of the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth offers a Free Lenten Reflection Journal for your private use. Please collect this free copy from the foyers of the Church.
Lenten Retreat on 27th March at the Basilica of St. Patrick
A ‘Retreat’ helps us to deepen our relationship with God. On 27th March Saturday, our Parish will offer a retreat starting at 9 am and finishes at 3pm.
The Theme of the Retreat is: Finding hope and love in journeying with Jesus towards Calvary. The Presenter is John Auer.
If you wish to join us please contact the Parish Office on 9335 2268, Mon to Fri (9am to 3pm). All are welcome.
Planned Giving envelopes for 2021
Your new planned giving envelopes for 2021 are available in the front foyer of the Church this weekend. Please collect your envelopes.
The Planned Giving Program
The planned giving program is an important part of the Parish as it allows us to maintain all aspects of the Basilica, Presbytery and Parish Administration Centre.
In order to keep the Parish viable, we must maintain a target of 95% and above each week. Last week’s giving was 58%.
Please consider joining the Planned Giving Programme if you are not already a member, for more information contact the Parish Office. Thank you!
Project Compassion for 2021
During this weekend (6th and 7th March), a Special Collection for Project Compassion will be taken up at all Masses. Please contribute generously.
Donation boxes and weekly offering envelopes for Project Compassion are also available in the front foyer of the Church this weekend. Please donate generously to bring a great change in the lives of those who are in need.
World Day of Prayer – “Build on a Strong Foundation” – Vanuatu
A special thanks to all who contributed and participated in the World Day of Prayer this year. It was great to see a great community Spirit. Thank you everyone.
Year of St. Joseph
During this Year of St. Joseph, the Basilica of St. Patrick will recite the Litany of St. Joseph at the end of the Rosary (Monday to Saturday) followed by benediction, Angelus and Mass.
Wishing you a happy weekend.
God bless you all!
Fr. John Sebastian OMI
Rector and Parish Priest