Sunday’s Gospel is John’s version of Jesus driving out the merchants from the Temple. It didn’t take much reflection till I found myself thinking of Paul’s words in First Corinthians 3:16, “You are a temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
I started imagining myself as that temple … and of Jesus roaring in and cleansing my body, soul, heart and mind of all the crap and junk that is there … kinda like a spiritual version of that TV show Hoarders. A lot of junk has accumulated over the years, and most of it has passed deep into my unconscious. But more to the point, there are habits, attitudes, ways of thinking, and behaviors that I freely and deliberately choose to hang on to or cultivate, and which inhibit the work of the Spirit in my life and in yours.
Just close your eyes and imagine the scene: Jesus coming into the Temple that you are to clean up and drive out all that is not worthy of your dignity as God’s beloved. What’s there? Remember, this is Lent, after all … a time of renewal and conversion.
The Ten Commandments (the First Reading) are a very good starting point … and not just the Commandments as written but their extensions as well. Remember what Jesus said: “You have heard it said that you shall not kill … but I say to you that you shall not be angry.” Think of all the “Spite and Malice” games we play. Look at the compulsive need to complain and bitch, to criticize and judge others – under that you and I will find a hoard of junk. Let’s look at how you and I spend our time and treasure, for those are good indicators of what we value.
If I get to thinking that none of the above applies to me, or if I pass on the challenge to reflect on my life and start to make the necessary changes, then I’m in deep trouble. It’s not necessarily trouble with God, for no sin of ours can ever be greater than God’s love – thank you, Father!!!! But what does it say that you or I would pass on a chance to become the person God knows I can be? The choice is mine to be a nebbish, or a vital, spirited human being, full of life for others. The examined life is the only one worth living.
Much love … many prayers!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.