Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday
The trading in the temple was part of the daily routine in the Jewish life. It was a technically interpreted legitimate trade to fulfil the laws as given by Moses for temple worship. Pilgrims and others who did not have suitable coinage to purchase the animals, needed in temple worship, had to trade with the money changers. Jesus is not against the law or the temple but against what the traders had turned the house of God into. He is angry at the disrespect and defilement of His Father’s house as it no more looked like a place of worship, but was more like a market place, so converted by the greed of man. The Temple was a place of worship reflecting the unconditional love of God the Father. Jesus was angry because they were not ready for Him, the true Temple. If they did not respect a man made house of God, their little minds could then not comprehend how they needed to worship Him, the true Temple, the Truth of all reality? The trade and the chaos at the temple only reflected the relationship on the people with God. They only saw God as a supreme trader who would exchange blessings in return of their sacrifice.
I am sure most of us are angry and also shocked at the blindness and lack faithfulness of the Jews. But are we any different? Are we also trading masses and offerings with God in exchange for favours or do we attend mass and offer our repent heart to the Lord as we approach the Holy Eucharist? It’s not just trade but are we desecrating the Temple that is the body and blood of Jesus which we receive in the Eucharist by approaching it in a loose and careless attitude? Are we worthy of the substantial presence of God if we are not repentant and grateful for being recipient of such undeserved mercy and grace? Is our relationship with the Lord only limited to what we can receive, but not what we can give through service and humility.
Lord help us to clean our hearts and minds of the traders mentality and learn and imitate you in self-giving and humility. Amen.