Gospel Reflection Mar 3 – Fr. Black

Sunday, March 3

Third Sunday of Lent

John 2: 13-25


Since the Passover of the Jews was near,

Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,

as well as the money changers seated there.

He made a whip out of cords

and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,

and spilled the coins of the money changers

and overturned their tables,

and to those who sold doves he said,

“Take these out of here,

and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,

Zeal for your house will consume me.

At this the Jews answered and said to him,

“What sign can you show us for doing this?”

Jesus answered and said to them,

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews said,

“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,

and you will raise it up in three days?”

But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,

his disciples remembered that he had said this,

and they came to believe the Scripture

and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,

many began to believe in his name

when they saw the signs he was doing.

But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,

and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.

He himself understood it well.

Gospel Reflection:

Jesus is distressed in our gospel today because of how the people were treating their dedicated sacred space. By bringing in the practice of selling and money-changing into the temple area, the people were also opening this space up to the human temptations that go along with these practices. Jesus acknowledges that the temple area is a place dedicated to God and to His worship and praise. On our part, we must exercise this same caution. As we enter our sacred space, let us prepare our hearts to be in a space set aside for God. We can best be in our worship space with hearts cleared of bad feelings toward others, cleared of jealousy, anger and resentment. Just as Jesus clears the space in the temple area, let us clear space in our hearts of the feelings and thoughts that separate us from one another and from God. We thus open up a space to receive Him through Word and Sacrament.

Father Black