Respect for God’s House

Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM

This Sunday, March 7, we celebrate the Third Sunday of Lent. It is very important to ask each one of us who are Catholic Christians several questions.

Pope Francis at Prayer
Pope Francis At Prayer

When we come to celebrate and live the Holy Eucharist, how do we dress? Do we dress modestly, as if we were going to the most beautiful and wonderful party there is? Do we arrive to the Holy Eucharist on time, that is, about fifteen minutes before the Eucharist, to prepare our minds and hearts? Do we completely turn off our cell phones before entering the house of God? Do we sit with both legs and feet resting on the floor, or do we sit cross‐legged as if we were on the beach or another public place?

By entering the house of God, do we turn the place into a market and public place, where we come to talk and relax with other people? Do we keep the house of God intact, clean and presentable or do we treat it as a market and public place where we leave trash and other waste? Do we take off our caps and hats before entering the house of God? Do we take a very participatory attitude once the Eucharist begins, or is it that we come to Mass because it is a custom, tradition, and day of obligation?

Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the example, of how we should behave and treat the house of God; to all of us who call ourselves Catholic Christians. Jesus is in Jerusalem and enters the temple to pray and what was his surprise? That his Father’s House had been turned into a market. Jesus gets very angry and upset to see what his Father’s House had become. When Jesus saw that, “he made a whip out of chords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace. His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’” (John 2: 15‐17).

My dear brothers and sisters, Jesus is very jealous of his Father’s House. Therefore, let us treat the House of God with much love, respect; let us try not to speak once we enter the house of God, dress modestly, sit politely, that is, with our legs and feet resting on the floor, remove caps and hats, do not chew gum inside the House of God, arrive fifteen or ten minutes before the Holy Eucharist to have a moment of prayer. If we want to talk, let us be kind enough to do so outside of God’s house; try to always have the house of God clean and intact, that is, not to enter with food or drinks into the House of God. — With love and respect, Father Alberto Villafan, ofm.

Fr. Alberto Villafan, OFM

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Fr. Alberto Villafan, ofm

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