Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

March 3, 2024

3rd Sunday of Lent

There is a magnificent painting of Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple by El Greco in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Dare I say that there is a certain irony attached to the location of the painting! The cleansing of the Temple occurs early in the gospel of John, unlike in the synoptic gospels, where this incident occurs closer to the passion accounts, setting in motion the events leading to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. It is impossible to know with certainty why John placed his account at the beginning of his gospel. Still, it seems to indicate a strategy for Jesus to establish his authority at the start of his ministry as the agent of God and reinforce it by saying, “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

I have never seen an image of an angry Jesus. Maybe there is none. In this scene, Jesus is angry. We are told that “He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area,” apparently regardless of the consequences for the livelihoods of those performing a necessary service. Attention to the actual words of Jesus indicates that his concern is not the activity of the vendors but their proximity to the Temple complex.

A deeper issue is at stake. The concern of Jesus is authentic and undefiled worship, which applies to our time as much as it did in the time of Jesus. As we continue our Lenten journey, we look to Jesus, the true Temple, and him, and we give true and sincere worship that is validated by the quality of our Christ-like living.

Let Us Pray:

Lord, create for us a pure heart that our worship may be genuine and true.

 

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