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Cleaning House: Weekly Message for 2-27-18
Dear Friends in Christ,
Spring is only a few weeks away, and with spring comes the tradition of spring cleaning. Maybe it arose because after the cold of winter people were finally able to throw open the shutters and beat out the dust and grime. This Sunday the liturgy recalls Our Lord clearing the Temple as narrated in the Gospel of John (2:13–25). It’s a good occasion to remind us of the importance of Lenten cleaning.
Our Lord not only clears out the Temple; he associates it with himself. He goes from denouncing those who commercialized his Father’s house to describing his own body as a Temple. Paul would later teach that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 and 6:19-20).
If Our Lord established a parallelism between a Temple of stone and us, the temples of his Spirit, it’s an opportunity to see whether we need to clear out our temple from all the wheeling and dealing that makes us simply want to profit from God and others and not love them with all our heart.
Our Lord is kind, compassionate, merciful, and ready to lay down his life for you, but in the case of those vendors and moneychangers he was firm and unyielding: his Father, our Father, came first. He didn’t ask them to leave; he drove them out. We need to have the same firmness when casting out anything in our heart that would come between us and God.
Our Lord foretold that the temple of his own body would be destroyed, but also rebuilt. Sin destroyed Our Lord’s body, a sin for which he was blameless, but sin did not have the last word. If we clean house this Lent we should not fear that the only thing that would be left is a ravaged temple. It is sin that ravages our temple. Our Lord will rebuild us, no matter how much we’ve wrecked our temple, if we try to be holy.
May Our Lord continue helping you with your Lenten cleaning this week.