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Cleansing of the temple

 

 

reflections

Gospel reading: Jn 2:13-22

SINCE the Passover of the Jews was near, Je­sus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His disciples recalled the words of scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Je­sus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

 

REFLECTION: Stop making my father’s house a marketplace

Jesus commands the vendors to remove their wares from the Temple and stop mak­ing it a marketplace. He is infuriated by what he observes as he enters the Temple to fulfill his religious obligation. He uses his authority as God’s Son. The Temple is his Father’s.

Some of us may focus on the anger of Jesus. How can Jesus be angry with such an intensity? It is unbecoming of a Messiah; besides, the vendors and money changers provide a needed service for the pilgrims. Some others explain that Jesus shows a righteous indignation as he disapproves of the business transactions at the doorsteps of the Temple. We should focus on Jesus’ main concern: cleansing the Temple of its mundane activities and restoring its original purpose to be a house of prayer.

His enemies, the Jews, challenge Jesus to give them a sign that he has the authority for what he has done. Jesus does not give in to them. They will have to wait for the time when he will be killed and be raised on the third day. This will be the big sign, bigger than the previous miracles he has performed.

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We Christians must purify our motives for going to church. Do we go to commune with God?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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