A spiritual ‘deep clean’

File photo
File photo

THIS Sunday’s Gospel passage for the third Sunday of Lent from John 2:13–25 holds significance for this sacred season as it portrays Jesus’ actions in the temple in Jerusalem and His reference to the temple of His body.

This event is a precursor to the Paschal Mystery, emphasising the importance of Christ’s sacrifice and Resurrection during Lent. According to scripture, Jesus violently drives out the merchants, overturning the tables of the money changers.

It is, as an aside, one of the few if not only occasion in the Gospels we see Jesus truly angry. The cleansing of the temple itself signifies the purification and renewal that Lent calls for in the lives of believers.

It calls for a purposeful and intentional removal of distractions and impurities from our hearts to make room for a deeper connection with God during the Lenten season and aligns with the call for repentance, conversion, and a reorientation towards God. Jesus refers to the temple of His body, alluding to His upcoming death and resurrection.

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The temple, as a place of worship, is transformed into a symbol of Christ’s own body, emphasising the shift from external rituals to the internal transformation that Lent encourages in believers. During Lent, as we journey towards Easter, we are called to reflect on the significance of Christ’s sacrifice and the renewal it brings. We are invited to cleanse our hearts and minds, making them pure dwelling places for the Spirit of God.

Jesus’ actions in the temple challenge believers to reflect on their own lives, identify areas of spiritual clutter and distraction, and seek a renewed relationship with God. A deep clean. He condemns religious hypocrisy, and we are challenged to examine our own attitudes and intentions in our religious practices and urged to seek authentic worship that stems from a genuine love for God. The passage also sheds light on the universal nature of God’s love and salvation.

In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus emphasises as well the sanctity of the temple as a house of prayer for all peoples, opening the way for all to encounter God. Inclusivity and openness reflect the core message of Christianity – that God’s love knows no bounds and is offered to every individual, regardless of background or status.

The message of God’s all-encompassing love challenges us to break down barriers and reach out with compassion and understanding. Lent serves as a time for us to reflect on how we can bring healing to those around us, offering hope and compassion to the marginalised and the downtrodden.


"A spiritual ‘deep clean’"

More in this section