instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stop making yourself a marketplace

The first two readings for the Feast of St. John Lateran put the story of the Cleansing of the Temple (the Gospel reading) in a different light.

The reading from Ezekiel shows the importance to the world of what flows from the Temple's sanctuary:
Along both banks of the river [flowing from under the threshold of the Temple],
fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.
If these waters are muddied or diverted, the world loses its food and medicine.

And what happens when we put these verses (from 1 Corinthians and from the Gospel According to Saint John) together:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

[Jesus] 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.”
I mostly see the Cleansing of the Temple mentioned in the context of a justification for righteous anger or in the context of rejecting a gospel of sweetness and light. I don't often see it -- and I certainly don't look for it myself -- mentioned in the context of our own bodies.

If we invite Jesus into our hearts, will He find a marketplace of money-changers and dove-sellers to drive out with a whip of cords? And if He does, will we ask him what sign He can show us for doing this?