“Good grief, Charlie Brown, why such drama?”

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Today’s readings are well known by most Catholics. When we were children, we heard the story of how Moses, amidst roaring thunder and flashes of lightning, received the Ten Commandments. We often remain genuinely amazed when “our gentle Jesus” got so irate in the temple, driving the moneychangers out and overturning their tables – just before Passover, yet! As Charles Schulz might write, “Good grief, Charlie Brown, why such drama?” Did God REALLY need drama in order to get His people’s attention and teach them how to live as healthy, holy people? Well, maybe. They were stubborn folks, much like us at times. But the next question is: Did the people like what they learned? Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J., at Creighton University suggests “the Ten Commandments are not so much to like, because they tell us what to do and not to do and they give us a way to know how we are doing religiously. Usually we are not doing as well as we would like.” Hmmm…we need to think about this, don’t we?

The Ten Commandments are timeless. They sustain us, whether we realize it or not. As for Jesus in the temple, did that get the people’s attention? Historically, we know that it was one of the factors that led to His crucifixion. Personally, I see it as a powerful statement, that Jesus was making the point that God’s love can’t be bought and sold like the latest acne cure. Lent is a good time to be reflective and become more aware of how we can better honor God. What we’ll discover is that as God gets our attention, we’ll learn of His holiness and mercy, and the sacredness of all life – including our own.

Dorothy A. Hathway, CSJA