Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cleansing of the Temple

In the Gospel of John we always stand contemplatively before the figure of Jesus. And in this morning’s Gospel we notice him as he calls the Jewish leaders to acknowledge the true meaning of the temple: it is the meeting place of God and the people, not a place for business, but his Father’s own house. No wonder he is so driven to clear out what does not belong there. Ultimately he understands himself as the new temple, the place we will truly encounter God. 

How to describe the indescribable: the embrace of one you love, a meal shared, a small kind word or a smile that can erase a hurt, the vision of a sunrise through morning mists or the experience of sitting quietly beside someone as they lay dying? How to describe the nearness of God in Christ through the Spirit? How to describe what we experience as real but really indescribable? And if ever you have loved, or fallen in love, and known your friend, the one you love, as refuge, safe haven; their beauty, their presence, their kindness as home and even sanctuary, then perhaps you get an inkling of what Jesus is saying this morning when he refers to his body as temple. "He was speaking about the temple of his body."
Photo by Father Emmanuel.