Thursday, 04 March 2021 16:59

We are where God is found on earth

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3LBWeb400The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone. (John 2:13-25)

 

In the Old Testament scriptures the idea of the people of Israel being ‘the people of God’ is clearly established. By their behaviour they were to be a ‘light to the nations’, and the dwelling-place of God’s presence. Only much later did the idea of God dwelling in a building called a temple develop. Even so, the Jews never lost the sense that they were to be God’s own people.

The first reading from Exodus (commonly known as the Ten Commandments) gives a pattern for God’s people to live in right relationship with God and neighbour; to be the dwelling-place of God’s presence.

In today’s Gospel we find a deeply passionate Jesus causing a near-riot in the outer precincts of the Temple. In John’s Gospel Jesus’ prophetic actions have less to do with ‘cleansing the Temple’ than with saying that the Temple is no longer the way to be in right relationship with God.

According to John, Jesus is the new, living temple of God’s presence and the meeting place between God and his people. Jesus is the way to be in right relationship with God and neighbour.

In our Catholic tradition we often refer to ourselves as ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’. We recognise that we are sacred beings destined for union with God, people in whom the reign of God’s goodness should be clearly seen in word, thought and action.

Lent is a time to decide what our life is about and what is important. Like Jesus in the Temple maybe we need to put an end to ways of thinking and behaving which clutter our lives, obscure God’s presence and fail to bring life to others.

As members of the Body of Christ we, too, are to be the place where God is found on earth.

You can download Celebrating At Home for this Sunday using the links below:

pdf Celebrating At Home 3rd Sunday of Lent [PDF] (247 KB)             
default Celebrating At Home 3rd Sunday of Lent [ePub] (774 KB)

 

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