Emmanuel Youth Choir was born on September 22, 2018, after Father Loi Huynh, our Pastor, and Father Thong Nguyen, our Chaplain, realized the need for an English mass for the Vietnamese youth at Our Lady of La Vang church in San Jose. We celebrated the choir's first feast day on December 24, 2018. Our choir chose the name "Emmanuel", meaning "God is with Us" to remind all of us that we need God at every step of our life and with every breath that we take each day. With Him beside us and within our hearts, we can conquer any obstacles in our life. And every time we come together, we come to Him with a humble heart to thank him for everything that He has given us and we praise Him for His Greatness and His Love with songs and music.
Our Mass Time and Practice Schedule:
Our choir sings every Saturday at 4:00 PM at Our Lady of La Vang Church (located at 389 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113 (corner of 9th Street and Santa Clara Street). We practice 1/2 hour before and 1/2 hour after mass. If you love to sing, play music, and/or would like to serve the Church in the Church music ministry, please come and join us in singing hymns of thanksgiving and praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
“My secret is simple: I pray”
— Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle B Sunday, March 3, 2024
Jesus drives out the moneychangers from the Temple and says that he will destroy the temple and raise it up again.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In today’s Gospel we read about how Jesus overturned the tables of the merchants and the moneychangers in the Temple at Jerusalem. In order to understand the relevance of Jesus’ action, we must learn more about the activities that were going on in the temple area. Worship at the Temple in Jerusalem included animal sacrifice, and merchants sold animals to worshipers. Moneychangers exchanged Roman coins, which bore the image of the Roman emperor, for the temple coins that were needed to pay the temple tax.
Jesus’ action at the Temple in Jerusalem is recorded in all four Gospels and is often understood to be among the events that led to Jesus’ arrest and Crucifixion. The Gospel of John, however, places this event much earlier in Jesus’ public ministry than do the Synoptic Gospels. In John’s Gospel this event occurs at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, after his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana.
We must read the Gospel of John carefully, especially in its presentation of Jesus’ relationship to Judaism. The Gospel of John tends to reflect greater tension and animosity between Jesus and the Jewish authorities than the Synoptic Gospels. The Gospel of John was the last of the four Gospels to be written, and its narrative reflects the growing divide between the Jewish community and the early Christian community. Thus, greater emphasis on the distinction between Christianity and Judaism is found in John’s Gospel.
Reflecting upon the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), John recalls Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple and uses that story to interpret this later event. John explains to his audience, an early Christian community, that temple worship would no longer be necessary because it was surpassed in the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. With greater frequency than the other Evangelists, John intersperses post-Resurrection reflections of this Christian community in his narrative.
After clearing the Temple of the merchants and the moneychangers, John’s Gospel tells us that the people asked for a sign of Jesus’ authority to do such an audacious act. In response, Jesus predicted his death and Resurrection. Throughout John’s Gospel, the language of signs is distinctive. Jesus’ miracles are called signs, and the people look to these signs for proof of his authority. Here we learn that the sign par excellence will be Jesus’ passion, death, and Resurrection.
During Lent we reflect upon the meaning of this sign for us and for our world. We might take this opportunity to consider the quality of our prayer and worship. In our prayers we seek to deepen our relationship with the person of Christ. In our worship with the community, we gather to experience anew the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus and its significance in our lives. Christ promises to be present with us when we gather for prayer.