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Reflection: Shock Horror: God is inviting me into His work! Mar 1, 2024

Third Sunday of Lent
Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary parish Caloundra
Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary parish Caloundra

Shock Horror: God is inviting me into His work!

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus causes quite the scene in the temple: he creates a makeshift whip and goes to town on the various services offered within the temple courtyard: money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice. He flips the tables and drives them away. It must have been upsetting enough, but he then goes further, claiming his “father’s house” was being turned “into a market” and that to justify himself, he could “rebuild the temple in three days”.


I am reminded of the sort of scenes caused by protestors today: throwing paint at priceless paintings, defacing the front of stores, disrupting traffic by standing on the roads… the list goes on. Regardless of whether we agree with them, we can’t deny their shock value and that they get heard far and wide. No doubt, Jesus’ statement was loud and clear and likely the talk of the town.


I wonder what people talked about when they discussed those shocking scenes? Jesus communicated loudly, but I don’t know if he communicated clearly… we’re told that the disciples understood what it all meant after he rose from the dead.


Experiencing a ‘shock’ or multiple shocks from God is a part of our journey. They can be unpleasant, but always the start of something new – perhaps a deeper reflection on who we believe God to be; perhaps how we wish to relate back to God and the world going forward. Has this Lent offered you a bit of “shock treatment” yet? Even if initially unpleasant, God’s actions produce a sense of consolation (the disciples today seem to experience some awe, despite the horror unfolding before them). Conversely, it is possible to hear something sweet from our friends or enemies but be left feeling empty – we sometimes describe the feeling as knowing we are lying to ourselves or letting ourselves off the hook. Are you feeling shocked in a good way this Lent?


It is fitting that this Sunday, the OLR Caloundra Sunday 9:30am community will make an appeal for volunteers. I am often surprised by the “shock” people display at being asked to help out with ministries at Mass or with activities around the parish. I will own the seminary ‘volun-told’ us a lot, so I take a few things for granted. Having said  that – and precisely because I’ve been ‘put out there’ so much – I assure you that many things are easier done than said. To you, the 9:30am crowd, I join my voice with the parish to encourage you in saying: Please sign yourselves up to help our community to facilitate encounters with Jesus Christ! You won’t have to run the show, but more hands will make for lighter work!


To the wider parish, please consider where you can give more of your time to God through helping out in the parish. The wider appeal will take place in May, at the end of National Volunteer’s Week.


I hope this ask on my part does shock you. I hope God does leave you a little unsettled if you are available but avoid volunteering. I do not wish you any distress, but want to see us stepping out onto the deeper water with Christ and experiencing God and the parish community in new ways as you discover new gifts in yourself.


See you in the week.

Fr. Francis
























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