Cleansing Our Temple
In today’s Gospel from John 2 we hear the story of the cleansing of the temple. In the story Jesus says: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up… he was speaking about the temple of his body” (John 2:19, 21). St. Paul said: “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). During Lent, we need to cleanse this temple, and an area that needs cleaning is our selfishness. Sin is self-centeredness and we can easily fall into its trap here in the consumer society of the United States of America. Every person is a temple of God’s Spirit, beloved of God and so wonderfully precious. We are all created in God’s image and likeness and thus have the capacity to love like God. However, we often get in the way and so do our selfish desires.
Today, the Corporal Work of Mercy is Visit the Imprisoned. Add a penny to your prayer space. A penny today is nearly “worthless.” Sometimes the imprisoned are thought to be “worthless.” I spent some time in juvenile facilities and those youth are lost, broken children of God. While they have committed crimes, their value as persons hasn’t changed, not in God’s eyes. Let this Corporal Work of Mercy challenge us to not dismiss the prisoner as worthless. Pray for the imprisoned. Write a letter to a prisoner (details noted on Page 5). Write a letter to someone you know who is alone and may feel imprisoned in their home. Show mercy and mercy you will have shown to you. Battle selfishness with charity and kindness. Fast from judgments that have no value and feast on the commandments of God we hear about in our first reading. May those commandments and this Corporal Work of Mercy assist in cleaning your temple. Peace.