The Bible: The Power of Rebirth

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Reflection on the Gospel of the Thursday
In The Thirty-First Week Of Ordinary Time

 

John 2: 13-22

Today’s Gospel is a difficult passage, and it is also inconsistent with what we know of God and Jesus’ action of making a whip and chasing out the moneylenders and the bazaar. According to what I have been taught, herein lies a kernel of truth, that needs understanding, so I will not try to interpret this bit, because I have not understood it as yet.

But the thing that does come to mind is that the synoptics place this event towards the end of their Gospels, when Jesus enters Jerusalem triumphantly on Palm Sunday. John does so in chapter 2, just after the Wedding of Cana story. We all know that John is writing a highly stylized narrative of the Triumphant Messiah – Jesus, but at the same time he has put in many other themes in his Gospel. Right away the First part of thoughts in his story telling come to mind.

  • First he gives the Index/Prologue; letting us know his intention for the Gospel, and what to expect in the Gospel.
  • Then he begins by introducing Isaiah and the voice in the desert – John the Baptist – the New Elijah – announcing the coming time (almost upon them) of Grace…
  • Thus connecting the prophets and the Messiah
  • In the telling of John the Baptist’s Ministry, he introduces the Beginnings – the creation/recreation God started with/in Jesus, by telling us on the First four days of Creation…
  • Then In chapter 2, He jumps 3 days (possibly to tie this with Jesus’ Death and Resurrection) to tell us of the Wedding Feast (of the Lamb), and God’s offer of New Overflowing Wine…
  • But this is no ordinary wine, this is the wine of everlasting life, this is what we should have chosen, before every other wine in life, historically and personally.

Then comes today’s reading; how should we look at it? I will say/suggest that it is an invitation to come and drink of the New Wine. But unless we remove a profit-istic attitude, and lean on Jesus to cultivate a relationship with Him, it is useless… We need to come to Him, wanting to engage with Him, in a relationship – with a sincere heart. Else whatever we do towards religion/trying to know God is useless. Because unless the desire to be in a relationship with God is there, along with humility and gratitude, there is no advancement towards maturity in God, because we will have never truly understood God.

Like the story of the Sower tells us; it is the one singular soil, that the seed/word of God is cast on, but growth is stunted unless we also place humility and gratitude in our lives. So basically what today’s Gospel is also telling us is that, ‘remove the leaven in our lives and come and stand before God, and let Him take you towards maturity in Himself.’

 

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