The Gospel according to John (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.
Growing up, my family and I lived in a modest (pc for poor) home in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles. Although our beloved home may not have been aesthetically pleasing, my mom made sure it was tidy. I have vivid memories of her cleaning it top to bottom every day. And to our dismay, often enlisted us to assist. My mom disliked a dirty house.
In today’s gospel we hear of one of the few times that Jesus apparently “lost it”. He was overcome with Zeal. It wasn’t over political differences or any other sphere of opposition, it was for the lack of reverence for His Father’s house, the temple. People were exploiting each other in this holy place which opposed the teachings and example of mercy, compassion, and charity Jesus was spreading. His powerful display may have been fueled, not by disappointment, but, by love. He wants us to be as close to the father as we possibly can. However, our choices, our decisions seem often to follow our own desires.
I imagine, at times, Jesus may have those same feelings when it comes to each one of us. Maybe he gets upset, sometimes, when we make poor choices. Especially the kind that threatens our souls and relationship with our father. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God.” I am pretty sure this is not the first time we hear this passage or one like it. We are a temple of God! Is that not mind blowing?!
Like my mom, we must be meticulous with the cleanliness of our temples. We must be prayerful, vigilant, prudent, wise, persistent, and mindful of what we allow to inhabit our souls. Not just when things become more challenging but always. Not a day should go by that we do not do something to maintain our holiness. To increase our willingness and ability to bear our cross for the sake of our souls and the souls of our brothers and sisters. May we be inspired by the zeal of our savior, Jesus, and ask for the grace we need every day to take care of our temples.
Action of the day:
Spring is not the only time for a good cleaning. Is there something in your life that needs attention. Pray for the zeal to address the issue. Reach for the grace avaiable in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Mend broken fences, repair what is malfunctioning. May the grace and peace of Christ be with you.