The Good News for the day, March 4, 2018
The Third Sunday of Lent (29)
Because the Jewish Passover was coming up, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. In the temple area, He found in the temple area people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as money changers who were sitting there. He made a whip out of cord and drove them all out of the temple area, with their sheep and oxen; he spilled the coins of people who were changing the coinage; he overturned their tables; to those who were selling doves he said, “Take these out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His followers recalled the words of the Bible: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” To this action, some Jews responded: “What authority can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “You can destroy this temple; in three days I will raise it up.” Those Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for some forty-six years, and you are going to raise it up in three days?” (He was speaking about the temple which was his body. As a result, when he was raised from the dead, his followers remembered his saying this—and they came to believe the Bible and the remark Jesus had made.) While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many did begin to believe in his name—to belief in his emphasis on the divine “family name”—when they saw the significance of what he was doing. Jesus, though, would not trust himself to them because he understood people, and did not need anyone to teach Him truths about human nature; He himself understood humanity well. (John 2)
We can too easily—once again emphasize the (historical) rejection of greedy and wrong-headed business men abusing the sanctity of the temple—and complain about the wealth of churches. Such criticism misses our own Call to repentance—the Gospel is never about “them.”
“My Father’s House”—is OUR home, our comfort zone, the place where we can be ourselves. What IS our Father’s home? In the end, it seems to be all creation, the Home our Father provides: the world where we live and breathe, where we shelter our children, and meet our Family. It is where birds sing, and cancer strikes, where lovers embrace, and hurricanes ravage.
This Gospels calls on us to see death and resurrection as our lifetime, accepting God’s home and family—while taking actions to ensure that our fellow family members do not corrupt it by pursuing selfish profit or being indifferent to its sacredness. Creation is a House of Prayer, constructed by a loving Father that is in flux of death- and-resurrection. You and I are a house a prayer. Let us be zealous to keep it holy.
He Drove Them Out
The Money-changers in the Temple
He drove them out–His world was not theirs—
Their coinage, business, greed proved too much cost
For folks and souls—though His intent showed cares
For each of these poor people who had lost
Their way—the Way of Cross—which leads to grow
Past self and what we each have been till now—
Become indifferent to greed—and know
That life means Living Outward—for the Thou!
To lift up “you” as “You” not “it,” and shake
Awake—to sacrifice your current goal—
Success, Achievement, Safety—for the sake
Of inner, higher, humbler truth of soul.
You need—and I—to hear His beating heart—
To feel His zeal—repent again– start.