Gospel Jn 2:13-25
So he made a whip out of cords
Today’s Gospel presents us with a confronting depiction of Jesus, one which stands at odds with what the kitsch image of the perennial ‘nice guy’, or ‘Buddy-Christ’ that so often pervades our culture. This story of Jesus cleansing the temple is strange, leaving us feeling rather uneasy. Isn’t Jesus supposed to be the peacemaker?
Perhaps this uneasiness is intended by the Gospel writer.
In the Gospels Jesus is supremely patient and tolerant of all sorts of people and mannerisms, however when it comes to issues concerning disrespect for God, for the truth, for ourselves, or for our fellow man (particularly the poor), Jesus exercises a ‘holy wrath’ that is far from peaceable.
Jesus is intolerable of those things which prevent us from our ultimate destiny – union with Him in heaven.
Just as Jesus had a deep and profound love for the Temple in his day, so too does he have a love for each one of us, each of which is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
When we act selfishly, or when we think or act out of pride or greed or lust, we defile the temple which is our very body. Our own wrongdoing becomes the cords of the whip that scourge us.
If we allow Him, Jesus can work through these sufferings to cleanse the temple of our body. And it is this cleansing which makes us more capable of reflecting him to those around us.
Let us not then fear this cleansing, as painful as it may be, but let us look to Jesus and trust in his unfailing love for each and every one of us
Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.