Lent week 3, 2021
This Lent the Scriptural Readings presents various covenants between God and his people. We reflect on them during Lent to help us have a greater understanding of the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus which we celebrate in a few weeks when we enter Holy Week, the utmost celebrations of our Faith. The first week of Lent, we had the covenant of the rainbow that God made with his people when he promised he would never give up on us. Last Sunday, we had the covenant with Abraham when he trusted that God would provide after being told to sacrifice his son. The message was that God knows the inner turmoil we may have in our faith lives and gives us the strength to grow in faith even in the most difficult times of our lives.
This Sunday, the third week, we are presented with the covenant made through Moses, the Ten Commandments. We also are called to practice the Ten Commandments as our response to God’s presence, his choice of us. We tend to forget the foundation law of God’s covenant with us, the Ten Commandments.
The gospel of John 2:13-25 with the theme of, “Jesus cleansing the temple” matches very well with the commandments God gives through the Covenant. The Jewish Temple priests of today’s Gospel were more concerned with the money they were making in the Temple than worshiping God in the Temple. Jesus accused them of making money their god, violating the first commandment.
Jesus objected not to the trade, as such, which was quite legitimate but to its being done in the Temple precincts in an exploiting and unjust way.
Jesus reacts with anger for the abuses in the Temple, which he perceives as the violation of the covenant, and shows himself as the Lord of the Temple. He drove the traders out of the Temple and predicted that he himself would be the Temple of the new people of God.
The statements of Jesus, “Take these things out here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” Now listen to what St. Paul says in 1Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
When speaking of weight loss of Body and Soul, don’t we feel sometimes our body and soul are like a marketplace or even worse filled and filthy of everything -things needed and not needed – weigh us down? Still, we are proud of our heaviness because we don’t want to lose anything. We hear about hoarders; are we not hoarders in our souls? Don’t we need a cleansing? Many of my friends told me that the Pandemic brought many good things to us and one of them is, “Enough Time for Cleaning the House, Shelves, Cupboards, and Etc.” In that case, this Lent is the time to cleanse our Body and Soul, joining Jesus to be Transformed and refashioned into the Amazing Temple of God so beautiful.
“I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)