Gospel Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year B – March 4th 2018
Jesus today gives some answer to the question – what is the temple for? He had a healthy attitude to religious buildings. They have a purpose behind their architecture, beauty and art: they are his Father’s house.
The people of the time had a big meaning for the temple. It was the place of worship and sacrifice, but had become the place of changing money to give for animals for the sacrifice, and the rate of interest was very high to the benefit of the money-changers. Jesus saw great injustice and oppression of the poor in the very house of God. The meaning of any religious building is to help us by taking part in its activities to care for the salvation of the world.
The door of a church is open so that we come in to meet God, and then to go out with the God we met in the building, to share his message with all.
Jesus puts the temple in perspective. The new temple is his body. We do not need a temple to come close to God. He is the new temple, his body is a place and space of god. This body now is the church, the people who follow the Lord, in words and deeds.
In a few weeks’ time we will honour his body in a new and real way. For now we allow this great truth sink in: that wherever we are, then there is God. Or in the words of a hymn: where love and charity are, there is God.
Donal Neary SJ
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Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
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