Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cleansing of the Temple

The Cleansing of the Temple
This is actually the Third temple
-         1st - Solomon
-         2nd – Was destroyed and rebuilt After Babylonian Exile  539 BC
-         3rd - Temple of Herod.    Destroyed in 70   all left is Western or “Wailing” Wall.

Our Jewish friends were and still are people of the Covenant – try to live by the 10 commandments
First three – honor and worship God.  One of the ways was to come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, especially on Passover.

1) Some had to come a long way. Could bring their own animals for sacrifice but they had to be without blemish – also, priests would not quickly certify animals from outside – so they had a cornered market. Kept prices high.
2) Also – the money had to be changed into shekels  -  Roman money was unclean - could not use money that had pagan images. They would charge a high rate of exchange.
3) All the buying and selling could get out of hand.  -  who could even pray with all the noise????

All this gave Jesus a righteous anger  -  things are not in right relationship with God - some anger is good anger – can be for a good purpose – like the students in Florida or the Me Too Movement.
On this day, Jesus flipped the tables and said: “my house shall be a house of praye!.”
He cleaned out the temple. It was Time for a radical cleaning.    

This Scripture has a significant place in Lent
St. Paul wrote -  “Are you not a temple of the Holy Spirit?”
Lent is a time for cleaning of OUR temple!
The Perfect Instrument  -  Sacrament of Reconciliation

Why not?    Some excuses:
1) Feelings of guilt and shame    -   face truth. Truth is difficult   I may have to change. Like maybe I have to put software filters on my home Internet to keep bad stuff out.
      Remember – all about the mercy of God who forgives & welcomes us back!

2) There were changes for those of us who are a bit older  -   do I have to go face to face, how about old act of contrition   Listen: go the way you always did!

3) May not know what to confess -   Sometimes children say – I have no sins .  What if we were to ask Mom??? examine your conscience every day. Look to 10 commandments as a helpful guide.

4) Why tell a priest?    Not an intermediary, but a mediator – a channel of the power of the Holy Spirit   -   You leave knowing, without question, you are forgiven!

Godfather III
Don Corleone tells the Cardinal – a legitimate deal with the Vatican bank gone sour
Cardinal picks up stone  “It has been lying in water a very long time. The water has not penetrated it. He smashes the stone  Look – perfectly dry. Same has happened to the men of Europe – surrounded by Christianity for centuries, but Christ does not live in their hearts.”

This is what we call a hardened heart.
Why not invite Jesus into our hearts for Lent? Cleanse the Temple – Get ready for Easter!