March 14, 2009


Third Sunday of Lent – B
John 2:13-25

The Temple is My Father’s House

For Jesus, the Temple is not just a physical structure or even a house of worship. It is God’s house.

Jesus is zealous for the Father’s house, as the disciples understand the prophecy, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Because it is the Father’s house, it must be treated as such.

The action of Jesus driving out the people and their animals in fact takes place in the outer court of the Temple, the area known as the Court of the Gentiles. Even though the trading takes place in that area, it is enough for Jesus to find His Father’s house being desecrated.

Moreover, for a gentile, whatever he experiences here is all he knows of Jewish worship. And the commotion must have made it impossible for anyone to pray.[1] Consequently, Jesus is understandably angry at the scandals the God-fearers of gentile origin are exposed to. It gives Jesus another reason to purify the Temple.

As Christians, we have been baptized and become God’s Temple. The presence of God’s Son has transformed us into God’s House. Jesus’ reaction in this Gospel passage reminds and invites us to zealously treat ourselves and our brothers and sisters as God’s House.

[1] Barclay, William. The Gospel of John, Revised Edition, Vol. 1. Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1975; p. 113.

1 comment:

atelier HD said...

This reading has inspired me to learn more about Pope John Paul II's teachings on the Theology of the Body. To "zealously treat ourselves and our brothers and sisters as God's House", says, to me, to be in communion with oneself and one another. It ties back not only to the physical body, but also, something as fundamental as the golden rule of respect: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Thanks for the wonderful retreat, Cha Danh. Hope your journey brings you back this way someday soon (or at least for VYC3).