On the tables in life

overturned-tableDuring Lent, as you might expect, we have more and more folks coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This past Friday we had three priests hearing confessions before the daily noontime Mass. Many folks carried with them one of the various Examinations of Conscience, most are based on the 10 Commandments – something we heard about in the first reading today. I wonder if our gospel might be a better model for examining our lives especially in this Lenten season. Continue reading

My Father’s House: context

Jesus-money-changers-giotto13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. 15 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, 16 and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” 17 His disciples recalled the words of scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 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. 23 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. 24 But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 25 and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. Continue reading

Overturning tables

overturned-tableDuring Lent, as you might expect, we have more and more folks coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This past Friday we had three priests hearing confessions before the daily noontime Mass. Many folks carried with them one of the various Examinations of Conscience, most are based on the 10 Commandments – something we heard about in the first reading today. I wonder if our gospel might be a better model for examining our lives especially in this Lenten season. Continue reading

Cleansing the house: context

Jesus-money-changers-giotto13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. 15 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, 16 and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” 17 His disciples recalled the words of scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 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. 23 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. 24 But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 25 and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. Continue reading

Reflection

jesus-cleanses-the-templeReflection by Gail R. O’Day [545]

John 2:13–22 is popularly interpreted as an example of Jesus’ anger and hence his humanity. Jesus’ actions of taking the whip, herding out the animals, and overturning the tables are pointed to as evidence that Jesus could get angry. Such attempts to amass evidence to prove Jesus’ humanity actually undercut the power of the incarnation, however. To focus on isolated attributes or emotions as proof of Jesus’ humanity is in effect to seek after signs, to base one’s faith on the surface evidence without perceiving the deeper reality. The underlying reality of the Fourth Gospel narrative is that “the Word became flesh” (1:14). Jesus’ humanity thus pervades everything he says and does in his ministry. The scandal of John 2:13–22 is not Jesus’ anger as proof of his humanity, but the authority this human being claims for himself through his words and actions. Continue reading

Signs and clarity

jesus-cleanses-the-templeThe Need for A Sign. 18 At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 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. Continue reading