Third Sunday in Lent – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 7 mars 2021

Fichier:Jésus chassant les marchands du temple.JPG

# For this festival, there were about 300,000 to 400,000 pilgrims. Jesus visited the Temple of Jerusalem, where the courtyard was filled with cattle and tables of money-changers, who changed the standard Greek and Roman money into Jewish and Tyrian money, being the only two currencies accepted inside the Temple, allowing the purchase of sacrificial animals. The New Testament tells of an action of Jesus chasing away the merchants and money-changers who operated within the Temple precincts of Jerusalem. Jesus and his disciples had arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover.

xJesus accused the merchants of turning the Temple into a den of thieves. In the Gospel according to John, Jesus referred to the Temple as the house of my Father and thus presented himself as the Son of God. In the Abrahamic religions, the faithful refer to God the Father. The Gospel according to John presents the only case in which Jesus used physical force against men. The account appears towards the end of the synoptic gospels (Mark 11, 15-19, Matthew 21, 12-17 and Luke 19, 45-48) and towards the beginning of the Gospel according to John (John 2, 13-16). Some authors thought that these would be two separate incidents, since the Gospel according to John also includes several accounts of the Jewish Passover.


Don’t make my Father’s house a house of trafficking

Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up again.

As the Passover of the Jews approached, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found the merchants of oxen, sheep and doves, and the money-changers in the Temple. He made a whip with cords, and drove them all out of the Temple with their sheep and oxen, and threw the changers’ money on the ground, overturned their counters, and said to the doves’ traders, « Take these things away from here. Do not make my Father’s house a house of traffic ». His disciples remembered the words of Scripture: « The love of your house will be my torment.

The Jews asked him, « What sign can you give us to justify what you are doing here? Jesus answered them, « Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up ». The Jews replied, « It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you will raise it up in three days ». But the Temple of which he spoke was his body. So when he rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; they believed the prophecies of Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, many believed in him at the sight of the signs he performed. But Jesus did not trust them, because he knew them all and did not need any testimony about man: he knew what is in man by himself.

Lord Jesus, I offer you my hands to do your work, I offer you my feet to follow your path, I offer you my eyes to see as you do, I offer you my tongue to speak your words, I offer you my intelligence so that you may think in me. I offer you my spirit for you to pray in me. Above all, I offer you my heart so that in me you love the Father and all men. I offer you all that I am so that you may grow in me, may you be Christ, who lives, works and prays in me. Lord Jesus, come and make me a dwelling worthy of your presence.


Jesus drives the merchants out of the Temple

Today, when Easter is already near, an unusual event has taken place in the temple. Jesus threw out the flock of merchants, overturned the tables of the money-changers and said to the doves’ sellers : « Take this away from here. Do not make my Father’s house a house of traffic » (Jn 2, 16). And while the calves were running on the esplanade, the disciples discovered a facet of Jesus’ soul: zeal for his Father’s house, zeal for the temple of God.

The temple of God converted into a market: what an enormity! It must have started small. A young shepherd going up to sell a lamb, a little old woman who wanted to earn some money by selling pigeons, and the business grew little by little. So much so that the author of the Song of Songs exclaimed : « Chase away the foxes, the little foxes that are destroying the vines » (Song of Songs 2:15). But who was paying attention to him? The esplanade of the temple was like a market on a fair day.

-I too am a temple of God. If I don’t pay attention to the little foxes, pride, laziness, gluttony, jealousy, avarice, all these clothes of selfishness, creep in and spoil everything. That is why the Lord warns us : « What I say to you, I say to all: Watch! » (Mk 13, 37). Let us keep watch, so that carelessness does not invade our conscience ! « The inability to acknowledge one’s fault is the most dangerous form of spiritual blindness imaginable, because it renders people incapable of improving » (Benedict XVI).

Keep watch ? I try to do it every night. Have I offended anyone? Are my intentions right ? Am I willing to do God’s will always and in all things ? Have I admitted an inclination that displeases the Lord? But in those hours I am tired and sleep overcomes me. Jesus, you who know me thoroughly, you know very well what is in the heart of every man, make me know my faults, give me strength and a little of your zeal to cast out of the temple everything that takes me away from you.

Lord Jesus, here I stand before you just as I am. I want to receive you more fully in me each day so that you can come and make your home here. Come and transform my heart into a dwelling worthy of your presence. Come and cast out from my soul all the traffic and commerce of my sin. You offered your life for me to save me. Thank you for having loved me so much ! Help me to respond more faithfully to your love. Come and heal what is weak and wounded in me during this time of Lent. In the course of our day, let us practice one of the three works of Lent: fasting, prayer or almsgiving, so that we may let ourselves be shaped by the Lord’s grace.


◊ Deacon Michel Houyoux : click here to read the article → Third Sunday of Lent in Year B

   3rd Sunday of Lent | March 7, 2021 | Our Lady of Grace

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