Friday, March 13, 2009
Day 16-March 13
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Today’s reflection takes up a pastoral perspective. Who is Jesus criticizing here, as he cleans up the act in the temple? One could certainly see this text as an opportunity to pull out one’s whip and rage against injustices that offend us. But consider this: when is Jesus displeased with us? When do we serve institutions unquestioningly? Surely this is a Lenten theme that warrants some serious attention from us. How should we be repenting of that which is service in something that is decidedly less than God?
O God, you know our hearts, and you know that sometimes we grow complacent and inattentive. Challenge us, inspire us, and empower us to mirror your values. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Carl Bloch's Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple