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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Third Sunday of Lent - Cleansing of the Temple

Third Sunday of Lent
Never Too Late to Clean House

Exodus 20:1-17
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:3-25

In today’s Gospel from John, Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover, he enters the Temple, and finds it unclean.  Zeal for his Father’s House consumes him and he flips over the money changers tables.  The Jews request a reason for his actions.  His answer, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)
Those in attendance thought Jesus was referring to the physical Temple which had been under construction for the last 46 years.  They did not realize he was referring to his own body as the Temple.  When he cleansed the Temple Jesus pronounced judgment on the old Temple and established himself as the new place of right praise.  He had not come to abolish  the Law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).


What do I worship?  Does this keep me from God's presence? Jesus' cleansing of the Temple can be seen as a prophetic sign of what he wants to do to each of us.  Clean house.

 The following commentary by Fr. Barron links today's first reading from Genesis on the Ten Commandments with today's Gospel from John challenging us with some tough questions: Image Jesus coming into the Temple which is your body, my body.  What would he find?  Is pleasing God what is most important to me? Chances are Jesus is going to want to “turn some things over.”

Lord at this half-way point in Lent
Give me courage to invite you into my life.
Into my body
Which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit,
of which you have purchased for me at a price.

I am sure you will see something
In need of change.
Go ahead turn the table over, cleanse me.
In your mercy
 Give me the courage to re-adjust my life,
My body, Your Temple
And make you most important.

Christ Cleansing the Temple - Giotto Bordone

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