ST. JUDE PARISH
17 MOUNT OLIVE ROAD, BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY
Third Sunday of Lent: March 4, 2018
Brothers and sisters: Lent is the ideal time for cleaning out the temple of our own hearts and minds and to offer to God proper Divine worship by love and faith.
In the Gospel today, Jesus is in Jerusalem where he chases away the merchants. They were selling those things which were used for sacrifice in the Temple and were exchanging coins. The temple became a total shopping store, with noise, bad smells and chaos. People were selling animals and buying them.
The design of the temple was divided into many sections. The first one was the Holy of Holies, the innermost chamber where sacrifice was offered. The second section was the place for adult Jewish men above the age of 12. The third section was for women and children, and the last section was for the Gentiles or non-Jews. They were not supposed to proceed into the other courts. It was in the Gentile section that merchants were selling the animals and this section was a market, making it impossible for the Gentiles to worship God. In this context, we should understand Jesus’ bold action of taking the whip, declaring the Temple as a house of prayer not a den of robbers. Also, Jesus’ action shows the respect and inclusion of Gentiles in this place of prayer.
Brothers and sisters: we are the loving temples of the Holy Spirit. And we should open our minds and hearts to love and serve all the people we meet. We should not have sections or special groups to serve. We are called to serve and to love everybody we meet. Any human being. It doesn’t matter the race, culture, background, language. “Catholic” means everybody with their diversity. We are the new temple where Jesus lives. let us keep our own lives, our temple, neat and tidy. Lent is a time for cleaning out our lives. A time to put everything in order.