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Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekly Reflection

Second Sunday of Lent 'B'

February 25, 2024

Ex 20:1-17
Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11
1 Cor 1:22-25
Jn 2:13-25

The central theme of today’s readings is the challenge to keep our Covenant agreement with Jesus Christ, just as the Israelites tried to keep the agreements of the Old Testament Covenant with Yahweh by promising to obey the Ten Commandments. We become people of the New Covenant by loving others as Jesus did, by keeping our parish Church holy and fully dedicated to Divine worship and by keeping our hearts cleansed, just, holy and pure temples of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s First Reading teaches us that the Ten Commandments are the basis of our religious and spiritual life, just as they formed a rule of life for the Israelites because of their Covenant with Yahweh at Mount Sinai.

The Responsorial Psalm depicts the Mosaic Law’s life-enhancing attributes: it refreshes the soul and rejoices the heart; it is pure and true, more precious than gold.

The Second Reading reminds us that we must preach the Divine folly of the crucified Christ and the spirit of the cross, especially during the Lenten season. The message of the cross is God’s wisdom and power and, foolish as it may seem, that message is greater than the Law, greater than the Temple, greater than worldly wisdom or human strength.

Today’s Gospel gives us the dramatic account of Jesus' cleansing the Temple of its merchants and moneychangers, followed by a prediction of his death and Resurrection. The synoptic Gospels place the "cleansing of the Temple" immediately after Jesus' triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a colt on Palm Sunday, while John places it at the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus cleansed the Temple which King Herod began to renovate in 20 BC. The abuses which kindled the prophetic indignation of Jesus were the conversion of God’s Temple into a “marketplace” by the animal merchants and into a “den of thieves” by the moneychangers with their grossly unjust business practices – sacrilege in God’s Holy Place. Jesus' reaction to this commercialized faith was fierce. Since no weapons were allowed inside the Temple, Jesus had to construct his own weapon, a whip of cords to drive out the merchants and moneychangers from the Court of the Gentiles.

Our relationship with God must be that of a child to his parent, one of mutual love, respect and a desire for the family’s good, with no thought of personal loss or gain. We are not supposed to think of God as a vending machine into which we put our sacrifices and good deeds to get back His blessings.

St. Paul reminds us that we are God’s temples because the Spirit of God dwells in us. Hence, we have no right to desecrate God’s temple by impurity, injustice, pride, hatred or jealousy. Let us cleanse it by asking God’s forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Let us make our Church a holier place by adding our prayers and songs to our parish worship and offering our time and talents in the various ministries.