Exodus 20. 1-17; 1Cor.1.18, 22-25; John 2. 13-25

Antiphon: Psalm 24.15-16: “My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues my feet from the snare. Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.”

This is a most human cry. There are times in our lives when we feel wretched and alone, but if our eyes are fixed on the Lord, we are never alone.

The readings of today attempt to clarify the false ideas we might have acquired about God, Christ, and the church. This is St. Paul’s purpose in today’s second reading.

According to Paul, the Jews desired a Messiah, who would obtain for them national independence. The Greeks wanted a kind of perfect wisdom that would provide a satisfactory explanation of human beings and give meaning to life. For the Jews, the Christ Paul preached was an object of anger whom they could not accept, and for the Gentiles, Paul’s Christ was absolute madness and stupidity. This Christ is the power and wisdom of God.

The gospel reading recalls a time when Jesus did spring house cleaning to the Temple. The Temple was supposed to be a sacred experience to encounter God, but that was destroyed by the atmosphere of the Temple, where all this buying, selling, and currency exchange got out of hand. At Passover, the Temple becomes a Mall.

The Temple needed radical cleaning at that moment and, occasionally, so do our lives. That is what Lent is for. Our lives need cleaning just as we do in our homes. With the passage of time, excess baggage and useless junk tend to accumulate. The same thing happened to the Temple; extra merchants set up shops. Just as our closet and the Temple of old Jerusalem became messy, our lives get messy in ways we never planned. We need Spiritual spring -cleaning. There are merchants and money changers that we need to drive out of the Temple of our lives.

Lent calls us to do spring–cleaning in our lives, making it a place where Christ is at home and not a stranger. Is Christ at home in your life, or is He an intruder?

Jesus cleansing the Temple is a reminder of what we should be doing to sin in our lives.