Sermon Notes for Homilists and Religion Teachers. Embargo: Catholics are welcome to read after Noon, Sunday.

Belvedere asks a question

Belvedere and Matilda have been dating for the past two years. Now Belvedere wants to ask Matilda a very important question. (Can you guess what this question might be? Raise your right hand if you think you know. But don’t say it out loud.) In order to ask this question, Belvedere invites Matilda to a rather expensive restaurant. They sit in a quiet corner of the restaurant. There are two candles on their dinner table. There is soft violin music in the background. In this romantic place, Belvedere and Matilda share some of their deepest thoughts and feelings. After they finish the birds nest soup, Belvedere asks the question: "Matilda, will you marry me?" Tears of joy fill her eyes. Matilda says: "Yes, Belvedere!" Matilda and Belvedere made the most important decision of their lives in this special place.

To understand today’s gospel, let us analyze this love story. Belvedere could have saved money by asking his question in the MTR. But he chose this restaurant because it had a quiet atmosphere conducive to loving affection and deep communication.

Our Lady of Fatima Church building is our special place. It is a place where it is easier to express loving affection and undisturbed conversation with God and our Christian community. Sometimes we come alone. Sometimes we gather as a community.

SCRIPTURE: After the marriage feast of Cana, Jesus went to Jerusalem. Like all Jews, Jesus loved the temple in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful place in which to spend time with His Father.

To Jesus’ horror, there were hawkers and money changers were in temple. They were making noise and disturbing those who were talking with God. (You could imagine how Belvedere would have felt if suddenly, a lot of hawkers came in to noisily sell their wares.) That’s how Jesus felt. So Jesus got real mad and with the help of his apostles threw out the hawkers and money changers.

In one sense, our Church building is much like any other building. It is made of stone, metal and wood. The Church building requires constant maintenance. It is not a big Church. It is not very modern. There are no great works of art. There are many more beautiful Churches in Hong Kong. But to our community, this building is very precious. It is the dwelling place of God among us residents of Wang Tau Hom. It is ours!

The New Catechism reminds us: "The Church is called the building of God. This edifice is symbolized in places of worship built out of stone and is compared to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem." (#756 Somewhat rephrased-ed.)

Our Church building is the place where we come together as a community to love and praise God. In this building, we gather strength. We support one another in the task of living the gospel. It is the place where we come privately to enter into intimate conversation with God.

In this building our community has made God happy by filling it with forty-eight years of prayers of praise and thanksgiving. In this building many prodigal sons and daughters have met the merciful Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and been welcomed back to our community. In this building, gallons of tears have been shed by those in pain and grief. People have come to this Church building with questions and have made decisions which will echo through all eternity.

Look around this Church building this morning and treasure it! Never pass this Church without making a brief visit. Make our Church an even more holy place by adding your prayers and songs. If you are not now doing any service at our parish, would you volunteer to join our Church Maintenance Group or our Liturgical Team? We especially need artists, flower arrangers, altar servers, readers and song leaders.

Look around our this morning and love it.




ONE WORD: Church (Church building.)

THEME: Whether alone or in company with the Christian community, our church building is a lovely place to be with God.

SCRIPTURE: "Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle..." John 2: 13-25

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: #756 "’...the Church is called the building of God… This edifice has many names to describe it: …especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone…is compared …to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.’" [ftn. 148]

Desired Result: Father as a result of last Sunday’s scripture and homily, whenever I come to Church I experience a closeness to God and the love of our community. Our Lady of Fatima is a lovely Church. It is our (my) Church place.


1. Like all passages in St. John, this one has rich allusions to the Old Testament and deep meaning to the mission of Jesus. But today, I would just like to stress one idea: Jesus loved the temple.

2. In the three-year liturgical cycle, Mathew, Mark and Luke each have an entire year dedicated to their gospels. But poor St. John doesn’t have his own year. But the Church sprinkles St. John’s gospel here and there during the three-year cycle. This is such a Sunday for St. John.

3. Of course, the hawkers and money-changers were performing a service. But it was the job of the temple officials to protect the religious atmosphere of the place. But apparently, these officials were "on the take" by letting the hawkers set up their stalls inside the temple.


2nd Sunday of Lent (B) John 2:13-22 March 23, 2003 Name______ Phone______

  1. Belvedere chose the restaurant to ask his question because:
  2. __A. He wanted to save money ___B. He did not want to be disturbed

    __C. He wanted to make it easier for Matilda to say "Yes."

    __D. He was hungry ___E. He wanted to open his heart to Matilda.

  3. In what part of the church building do you usually choose to sit? Why?
  4. If you could change one thing about the interior of our church building, what would it be? _______________________________________________________________
  5. What is your favorite two minutes in the Sunday Eucharist? __________
  6. (Optional) Describe a building in which you had a wonderful experience of God’s presence.