In this Sunday’s Gospel, we have Jesus clearing the Temple of merchants, animals, and money changers. He admonished those he drove out, and especially those that let them in, to “stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” To make the situation worse, those conducting business were also cheating and extorting the worshipers. Can you imagine experiencing this when you come to church?
In verse 17, His disciples recall scripture – specifically Psalm 69:9 – “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The irony of Jesus’ actions – the very zeal, passion, and force he expresses in the Temple that day – is the same the Jewish people wanted in their expectation of a messiah. However, they did not expect this very passion and zeal focused against them. Instead, they ask for a sign of His authority to do such a thing. He replies: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” As we know from the Gospel, and with our present day understanding, Jesus was speaking of His body, and most importantly, His Resurrection. Upon His Resurrection, His disciples would recall his words and come to believe the scripture.
Do we believe in Christ’s words today? Do we have the zeal for the Temple – the Body of Christ? Do we only recall his sacrifice and great victory over death during the season of Lent? Jesus wants to entrust Himself to us if only we entrust ourselves to Him. As a true man, He understands our natures all too well. As our true God, He asks us to move beyond signs with zeal to believe and love Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls.
Diaconate Candidate 2024