The third Sunday in the season of Lent we are all called to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter, that now as we are already halfway through this season of Lent, we should make good use of the time and opportunities given to us so that we can be ready not just to celebrate the occasion of Holy Week and Easter, but even more importantly, we may become better and more faithful disciples of the Lord.
Our Gospel today display Jesus human emotions: sorrow and disappointment as he said: “Take these out of here and stop making my Father’s house a market place.” Jesus emotion triggered in seeing how the people turn God’s temple into market place. He was not satisfied with the respect the people were showing in the Temple. This was a sacred place where God in a particular way was present. All should be in touch with him there, reverencing him and talking to him. Instead, it became a commercial trading and was unfitting to such a place. Jesus in return see that the temple needs to be purified and cleaned. In doing so, they challenged Him “What sign can you show us for doing this?” they challenged Him to perform a miracle. So, instead of responding with stunning words, Jesus makes a claim which almost nobody understands at first. Then with such confidence and conviction Jesus acclaim “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Then they said “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years and you will raise it up in three days?” So, when Jesus claimed that He could rebuild a destroyed temple in only three days, they assumed He was crazy. But what temple was he talking about? Jesus’ reference was to His future death and resurrection. Certainly the temple stood in need of purification and its function would be replaced by the risen body of Christ. After He is crucified, that connection will be clear to the disciples. Jesus, knew that he was the real temple of God – the Lord being fully present in him. He deserved greater attention than this sacred building. He was aware too that, if he were humanly killed, he would rise from the dead – bringing all the faithful into one family that is the Church.
Therefore, Jesus restoration of the Church does not only focus on the interior construction but of his mystical body that is the Church; we are the body and Christ is the head. Like Jesus, our body is a temple. St. Paul asks, ‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?’ We are all part of this temple, no matter who we are, no matter what we are, and no matter what we have, all of us is one body that needs to be reestablished and rooted in the love of God. Let us then not focus our gaze on ourselves, on the beauty that is superficial, on the views that hinder us from seeing what is essential, but instead to focus our gaze on the wounded Body of Christ. To look at our brothers and sisters who need our help, to those who cry for justice and of those who need a spiritual care. To look at them with love and respect so that restoring the wounded body of Christ may be possible.
This season of lent let us ask ourselves “What needs cleansing in me so that I can be a house of the Spirit of God, a temple that is holy and clean?”