Gospel Jn 2:13-25
So he made a whip out of cords
Today’s Gospel presents us with a confounding depiction of Jesus. We’re so often presented with a really kitsch image of Jesus, this perennial ‘nice guy’, or ‘Buddy-Christ’ which makes this story of Jesus cleansing the temple strange, leaving us feeling rather uneasy. Isn’t Jesus supposed to be the peacemaker?
Perhaps this uneasiness is intended by the Gospel writer.
In the Gospels Jesus is supremely patient and tolerant of all sorts of people and mannerisms, however when it comes to issues concerning disrespect for God, for the truth, for ourselves, or for our fellow man (particularly the poor), Jesus exercises a ‘holy wrath’ that is far from peaceable.
Jesus it seems is intolerable of those things which prevent us from our ultimate destiny – union with Him in heaven.
Why is this Gospel set before us in Lent?
Just as Jesus had a deep and profound love for the Temple in his day, so too does he have a love for each one of us, each of which is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
When we act selfishly, or when we think or act out of pride or greed or lust we defile the temple which is our very body. Quite often it is the very consequences of our own wrong-doing that become the cords of the whip that scourge us. If we allow him to, Jesus can work through these sufferings to cleanse the temple of our body.
And it is this cleansing which makes us more capable of reflecting him to those around us.
Let us not then fear this cleansing, as painful as it may be, but let us look to Jesus and trust in his unfailing love for each and every one of us.
Point to Ponder
How do I respond to the sufferings which come my way?
What can I do to unite these sufferings with those of Christ?