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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel is one of the events of Jesus’ life that I recall most clearly from being a child and beginning to learn about Christ through scripture. The lesson to me then, I’m sure, was that even Jesus lost his temper once in a while. As I reflect on its meaning today, I focus more on what Jesus tells the onlookers that are asking for a sign from him, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
I find myself, at times, making the same mistake as those listening to Jesus then. They interpreted “the temple” as a mere physical structure. In modern terms, I can ask myself, how do I view the Church? I don’t attend Mass every Sunday. When I do, is it merely to “check a box” and say I was there, or am I part of the living Church? I desire to be a part of Christ’s Church on earth that is united in community worldwide through the Eucharist. Jesus is with me anywhere I am, and I need to respond to that presence by receiving Him through scripture and at all times. Perhaps by embracing this view of the Church, I will find it easier to find a seat in one every Sunday.
Mr. Kevin Van Winkle is a Social Studies teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Prayer for Our Faith to Grow Stronger
Father, in glorifying Christ and sending us your Spirit, you open the way to eternal life. May our sharing in this gift increase our love and make our faith grow stronger. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN
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