3rd Sunday in Lent B
When first reading this Gospel it is easy to get caught up with Jesus driving them all out of the Temple. This image stays in our mind – we might even have seen it portrayed vividly in films. I think there may even be a part of us that is pleased to see that even Jesus got annoyed at times! Instead of focusing on this aspect of this week’s Gospel let us look at other aspects.
First the word ‘zeal’ – quite often we manage to turn this into something negative. Zeal is more than just enthusiasm, it’s something that is important to us, it means a lot, we put a lot of energy into it. What for each of us fulfils that criteria? What are we zealous or enthusiastic about? As we have got older have we perhaps lost the enthusiasm of our youth? Jesus felt what He saw as the desecration of the temple as something that had to be changed, that He had to change. What do we see as wrong and feel we have to do something about? What cause prompts us to get up and do something or say something or even campaign for or against? The word aggression comes from the Latin ‘aggredi’ which means to go forward, to approach, to move against. If we are enthusiastic, passionate or zealous about a cause then we are moving forward to eradicate it or promote it. It is something positive: it is something worthwhile.
Second is how John, writing so many years after the event, is able to say that when Jesus rose from the dead, they remembered what He had said about raising up the sanctuary in 3 days and they understood what He was meaning. Is there something from the past that we understand now but we didn’t then? Is there something now that we do not understand? Maybe we DO have to wait for future revelations or understanding but in the meantime we pray about it.
Third – are we one of those people who looks for signs - we believe ONLY because we have seen them like those in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover? In the end all of this comes down to faith.
This Lent perhaps we can reflect on our own faith – what it means to us, what we are doing to help our faith grow, what we are doing to help others grow in their faith, to thank God for our faith. Like Jesus unless we recharge our spiritual batteries then when ‘everyone is looking for us’ we won’t be able to keep going! Let us make time this Lent to get our priorities right.
Sr. Margaret Mattison