In the Book of Exodus, we hear of the 10 commandments. Being so close to St. Patrick’s Day, did you ever hear about the St. Murphy’s Commandment? It goes like this:
Anything a preacher says that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood!
Do you remember my homily I gave to you three years ago? It was one of my favorite homilies ever! I threw bags of cotton candy high into the air as a re-enactment of Jesus thrashing the Temple area.
If you look in your Bibles in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, you will see this event happening near the end of Jesus’ ministry. However, in John’s Gospel, it takes place at the beginning of his ministry!
For John, this story is about Jesus challenging the very authority of the Temple with his own authority.
The ultimate question just has to be: why is Jesus ANGRY?
Is it because the merchants are selling sacrificial animals? No!
Was it because the merchants were turning secular money into Temple money? No! After all, this was the only way for the Jewish people to pay their Temple tax!
So why is Jesus so angry?
He is angry because the whole situation, the marketplace, the temple taxation, the purity of unblemished animals to be used for sacrifice, the attitude of the people, the place of gossip, and “The Place to Hang out” has lost its original purpose and meaning!
It was supposed to be the place where people who sought out the Presence of God, would find it!
Jesus declares that His Body, is now the new Temple!
The Body of Christ.
So, when I threw the cotton candy, it was meant for you to think about Jesus simply just losing it, for all of us to take special notice! Think about how we do a spring cleaning, whether in the garage or in our homes! Lent is a time for us to do the same thing with our spiritual lives! What needs to be cleaned out? What is getting in our way of recognizing the Presence of God within the Temple of the Holy Spirit — yes, ourselves!
What habits, feelings, emotions, sins, memories, etc., need to be cleaned out this Lent? Our first reading from Exodus is an awesome examination of conscience! Let us simply do that.
Whatever I say, will probably be misunderstood. The Holy Spirit will take over and speak to us directly, even if it feels foolish to us.
May we be fools for the sake of Jesus, and know the renewal and life that only such foolishness can bring.
Happy 3rd week of Lent!