Reflection on Scripture Third Sunday of Lent Gospel B Zeal for the house of God

By 9:24 AM

Third Sunday of Lent: Gospel B

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 

· This is the first of three Passovers that John mentions in his Gospel. The other two are found in Jn 6:4 and 13:1.

He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of scripture, "Zeal for your house will consume me." 

· In the synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Mark the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus takes place at the end of his ministry just prior to his passion. But for John it fits better theologically here. It sets the stage for his ministry.

· The sheep and oxen and doves were the animals offered in sacrifice in the Temple. The doves were what the poor could afford. Recall that this was what Joseph and Mary could afford when they presented Jesus in the Temple. (Lk 2:24)

· “Zeal for your house…” Look up Ps 69:10.

· When have we felt such zeal for God’s glory?

· Do we feel at times the same is happening in our churches today?

At this the Jews answered and said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 

· This is one of the charges that will be hurled against Jesus during his trial before the leaders.

· How often do we look for signs, when God is looking for response to the signs he has already given us of his love?

· The greatest and final sign of Jesus’ true identity is his death and resurrection. But even this will not be enough for some.

Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

· Even though many people believed in him, their faith would be shaken by his arrest and death. Even the apostles faltered at the time of his death. Only the fact of the resurrection restored them.

· How strong is our faith in Jesus? Where have we faltered in our journey?

· Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. What needs to be cleansed within us so that God may be better glorified?

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