Fr John
Parish Priest

This week’s gospel records Jesus’ cleansing the Temple by fashioning a whip out of some cord and driving out cattle, sheep, pigeons and people. We imagine the chaos as he scatters coins all over the place and overturns tables. Given the commotion, it’s a bit surprising that the authorities didn’t appear immediately to arrest Jesus and bundle him out of the Temple.
Instead the Jews rather calmly ask “What sign can you show us to justify what you have done ?” They understand that Jesus has performed a prophetic action. They want proof that God has approved Jesus’ dramatic deeds. Jesus replies “destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.”
His reply is infinitely more shattering than the noise of coins and tables falling. Jesus reveals that the day of humanity meeting God in the Temple in Jerusalem is coming to an end: the whole paraphernalia of animal sacrifice there will be redundant. Believers will meet God in Jesus. Through his life, death and resurrection he will create a new, everlasting covenant with God. He is the new Temple where God dwells.
St Paul writes “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you ?” (1 Cor 3:16). As members of Christ’s body we are living temples. With Christ as our Head, we are the places where God dwells and reaches out to the world.
Lent is a good time to give ourselves a bit of a tidy up; to overturn the tables which have become laden with things that get in the way of Jesus living in us. We ask the Lord to cleanse our hearts so that we can be more effective witnesses and channels of his love.
Dear Lord, I humbly recognize my faults and lack of faithfulness to you. I entrust myself to your merciful love, make me more and more a temple fit for you; dwell within me and let me show your love to others. Amen.