Third Sunday of Lent
“Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.” (John 6:68) Jesus has come to give us true and eternal life, to show us the way to the Father. He desires that we be with Him forever in heaven. And yet, we allow ourselves to be distracted from the Lord’s great desires for us, and instead choose other things which we think will offer us a substitute for grace.
It seems that this is what had happened in the temple. The temple was to be the place where one met and worshipped the very presence of God. It was where the Lord was pleased to show that He had chosen to dwell among His people. Instead of coming to the temple to acknowledge God’s reign and to seek His blessing, merchants came and set up shop to make money selling the animals of sacrifice.
The merchants and money changers concerned themselves only with the animals and the money that they could make. Originally the animals had been a means to acknowledge one’s failure to live the commandments, and to seek anew to be reconciled with the Lord. Now, they were a means to acquiring wealth.
As we enter more deeply into the Lenten season, let us ask the Lord to show us those things which we put ahead of Him. What in our lives is supposed to be a means to union with God? Is there any way in which we try to make that serve a purpose apart from God?