The Third Sunday in Lent: March 4, Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
In the temple [Jesus] found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
– John 2:14-16
In today’s gospel, we are confronted with a Jesus who may leave us uncomfortable: Our loving Jesus, our Friend, our Beloved, is in the temple turning tables, tossing money, and shouting angry words. Where are his words of love? Where are his gentle, healing hands? Here we find a Jesus at the end of his rope, filled with frustration.
In Jesus’ kingdom, all are welcome to the holy places. Through Jesus Christ, the sacred heart of God is open to us. But here were men charging money for the privilege of coming before God. Poverty, gender, illness, marital status—all these were reasons that we might be shunned from the temple. And on that day, Jesus said, “No more!”
Jesus literally turned the tables on privilege. He threw down the money, he set free the sacrificial animals. Here Jesus says, “Humanity, you are wrong to stand between my people and the lovingkindness of God. This temple, this Holy Space, this Home is for all who enter.”
- Nicole Pridachuk