3rd Sunday of Lent

Christ The King From the Parish Priest's Desk

Jesus’ action at the Temple in Jerusalem

Today’s Gospel gives us the dramatic account of Jesus’ cleansing the Temple of its merchants and money-changers, followed by a prediction of his death and Resurrection. The synoptic Gospels place the “cleansing of the Temple” immediately after Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a colt on Palm Sunday, while John places it at the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus cleansed the Temple which King Herod began to renovate in 20 BC. The abuses which kindled the prophetic indignation of Jesus were the conversion of God’s Temple into a “noisy market place” by the animal merchants and into a “hideout of thieves” by the money-changers with their grossly unjust business practices – sacrilege in God’s Holy Place. Jesus’ reaction to this commercialized Faith was fierce. Since no weapons were allowed inside the Temple, Jesus had to construct his own weapon, a whip of cords to drive out the merchants and money-changers from the Court of the Gentiles.
Our relationship with God must be that of a child to his parent, one of mutual love, respect and a desire for the family’s good, with no thought of personal loss or gain. We are not supposed to think of God as a vending machine into which we put our sacrifices and good deeds to get back His blessings. St. Paul reminds us that we are God’s temples because the Spirit of God dwells in us. Hence, we have no right to desecrate God’s temple by impurity, injustice, pride, hatred or jealousy. Let us be cleansed by asking God’s forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Let us make our Church a holier place by adding our prayers and songs to our parish worship and offering our time and talents in the various ministries.