3rd Sunday of Lent (B)
The pastor of a poor parish got a call from the IRS, “Are you the pastor?” The voice on the phone asked.
“I am,” he replied.
“Do you know a Bob Weaver? Is he a member of your parish?”
“Yes, he is.”
“Did he donate $10,000 to your church?”
“No, but he will!” responded the pastor.
Just a story folks. We would never give out any personal information to anyone.
In our Lord’s time, any Jewish male over 19 years of age was charged a tax to maintain the temple.
Palestine accepted many different currencies,
but one could only buy or pay for an animal for worship with Jewish shekels.
So of course, money changers charged high exchange rates, especially during the Passover.
When Jesus came to pray, I imagine he couldn’t believe what he was witnessing.
Let’s not think of him going berserk, acting like someone on a rampage.
He knocked over a few tables
and shooed away some animals with his whip
to teach that the temple needed cleansing –
to make room for prayer in God’s Presence there.
God was getting snuffed out because no one was looking for him.
People were just too busy.
St. Paul reminded the early Christians in Corinth,
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (1 Corinthians 3:15).
We are in a time in a holy season
when we need to “cleanse” the temple in our hearts.
It’s something we have to do every once in a while, like spring cleaning.
We keep our homes clean, but there are times
when we need to do some “heavy-duty” cleaning.
We move the sofa and the refrigerator
and other large pieces of furniture
to clean behind them and under them.
If we are super energetic,
we take down the curtains and wash them
and notice how dirty are the windows.
So we get out the Windex.
How many things we notice,
the carpet looks much newer under the couch,
and the paint is cracking on the walls.
Lent is a time to move the furniture in our lives,
take down the curtains and wash the windows.
It’s more than getting rid of dirt.
We have to rearrange some things.
We have to find ways of creating more room,
of making a neater and more beautiful space
so that we can see ourselves differently
and have a little more space in the room of our hearts
for God and significant other people in our lives.
As Jesus purified the temple,
Lent invites us to purify the temple of our hearts;
uncover the obstacles that keep us selfish,
that keep Jesus and other people out of our hearts.
It’s time to get the whip out.
Jesus will hand his whip of cords to us
so we can drive these obstacles away –
the things in the temple of our hearts that need “driving” out on this Lent.
It’s better to use the whip on obstacles in our hearts
than on ourselves and other people.
Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be beautiful. I promise.
Contributing Source: Faith Catholic