Lent is time of rebuilding, reclaiming, reorganizing, and purifying

May the Lord give you peace and health. It is 3rd March 2024. We celebrate the Third Sunday

May the Lord give you peace and health.

It is 3rd March 2024.

We celebrate the Third Sunday of Lent.

We reflect on Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1:22-25; and John 2:13-25.

Are our hearts clean to accommodate God?

One night a man walks into a friend’s house so sad and depressed.  The friend asked the man “What’s wrong, why are you so down today?”.  The man said, “My wife and I got into a fight, and she said she would not talk to me for a month”.  The friend said, “So what’s wrong with that”?  The man said, “Well, the month is up tonight”.

The first reading presents us with the ten commandments while the second reading invites us to end all kinds of faction focusing only on Christ.

The aggressive and forceful cleaning of the temple of God in the Gospel evokes the need for cleaning our personal and inner sanctuaries.

When we forget God’s commandments and become ungrateful, our temples are invaded by strangers, and businesspeople who convince us to forget God, and our love for one another.

Most of us here can recall from the memory the entire 10 commandment.  How many of us apply them on to our life?

Since we have conveniently forgotten the commandments, the evil of lust, drunkenness, murder, robbery, bribery, corruption, rape, abuse have been unleashed in and around us.

The first three commandments sanctify the relationship between God and man and the remaining seven sanctify the relationship between man to man.  Christ fulfilled the commandments.  (Mt.5:17).

We need to follow the spirit of the law because it is written in our hearts.  “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my commandments, you shall be my own possession among all peoples.  (Ex.19:5).

In the Second Reading Paul tells the Corinthian converts that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.  But for those who believe and are saved, it is the power of God.

Lent is time of rebuilding, reclaiming, reorganizing, and purifying.  Life without zeal or zest is not worth living and meaningless.

Burning with zeal for a noble cause is required today.

In society at large, there is a dire need for cleansing our communities from a feeling benumbed of injustice and oppression unleashed on the poor along with systemic corruption and exploitation.  In a personal level, what is making our minds and hearts unclean?

Mass media, a constant brain washing from bad companies, addictions, hatred and resentment, and personal sins.  The Church in whole needs a thorough cleansing from groupism, pharisaic tendencies, authoritarianism, paternalistic attitudes, and one-man domination.

Lent is the time of cleaning our temples, the minds, and hearts with burning zeal for God.  It is the time of destroying the untidy attitudes in our church, life, and society.

Lent is the time to clean up our temples, house of prayer.  Jesus quotes it from prophet Isaiah “My house shall be a house of prayer.” (Is.56:7).

What is consecrated, set apart, and dedicated cannot be desecrated by our choices and chores of life.

The abuse is all over the places of worship whether it is temple or the church.  King Solomon reprimands us, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.” (Eccl.5:1).

Making the house of God as marketplace is a direct mockery on God.  “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.  For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.” (1 Cor.3:17).

A snake which harmed people was approached by a saintly person to stop harassing people.  The snake bowed to the holy person and agreed his condition.  After a few days, the same sage was coming along the same path and found the snake beaten by stone and it was struggling to crawl.  The snack told the sage that it was the price of being obedient to your word.  On hearing this, the sage said angrily: “I told you not to bite, but not to make them afraid?

Yes, when we see injustice, exploitation and lies in and around us, we cannot remain calm and compassed, we need to show our opposition.

Jesus who is meek and humble explodes in anger towards those who abuse God’s sacred space.

There are three types of anger.  Introverted anger that reprimanding oneself, extroverted anger that points out in others, and sinless anger that targets the welfare of the other without any shade of selfishness.  “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Eph.4:26).

Jesus cleansed the temple for two major reasons.  The first one is people were desecrating God’s temple with their business mentality and the second is that the ban and refusal for the Samaritans to enter the temple.

There is no moderation and mildness in such cleaning.  Yes, it is time to be aggressive and forceful in cleaning our own temple the body.

It is the time of whipping with the chores made of prayer, fasting and charity.  We have all abused the temple of God in, and around us.

What are the accumulated junks we need to clear in our temples?

Cleansing of temple involves destroying and rebuilding of Messianic mercy.  Jesus is our new temple of mercy and forgiveness.  The temple is His body.  There is no need for barricades, barcodes, and face recognition to reach Father except through Jesus.  (Jn. 14:6).  Jesus is Jacob’s ladder.  (Gen.28:2).  It is through the pierced side of the Lord; we have the access to the Father not through a temple built in Jerusalem.

Unless and until we clean the needless clutter, we cannot worship God in truth and spirit.

We all need to realize our responsibility of cleaning of our temples to be united with Christ.  God wants to dwell with Jesus in our hearts.

May the Lord bless us to clean our temple, the body and mind.  Have a lovely day.  God Bless you.

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