Jesus restores the temple and us to holiness
by Sister Jane Riha
We have three marvelous Scripture passages to contemplate this third Sunday of Lent, beginning with the connection to our deepest roots in the Old Testament, the commandments and our ancestor Moses, and the presence of Jesus Incarnate walking the journey with us.
In this reflection, I invite you to focus on a line from the Gospel: “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.” In this passage, we see Jesus with full emotion challenging the situation in the Temple. True to himself, he would not be complicit with the misuse of the Temple, by prophetically challenging those not reverencing this sacred dwelling.
Jesus understands our human frailties and strengths and continues to love us unconditionally. It is good to consider this especially during Lent when many Christians become more introspective, even hard on themselves. The Scriptures are filled with passages which reveal the compassionate and tender love of Jesus for the human family.
As we are at the midpoint of Lent, with the backdrop of the Gospel, we consider where we find the dwelling place of God. You might respond “in the church”. Our churches, like the Temple, are sacred places where we experience God’s presence in a significant way. It is not the only place. The dwelling of God among us is on the street where you live, in the poor you encounter waiting outside of Paul’s Pantry or St. John’s Homeless Shelter, your home the ‘domestic church’, and a myriad of other places where suffering and struggle are tempered with compassionate outreach by warm-hearted persons.
At this midpoint of Lent, we recall that Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” We know Jesus was referring to Himself. Walk gently with yourself and others recognizing the dwelling place of God among us.