Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Each year during Lent when there are catechumens, the readings of year A are used for the mass with the catechumens. Here we will look at the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent year B.
In the Gospel Jesus there is a stark image of Jesus cleansing the temple. We are first given a description of what is going on in the temple, there are people selling animals and changing currency. The big problem is the commerce was going on in the temple. The temple existed for the praise and worship of God, not to be a market.
With this in mind, ponder what Jesus does, he makes a whip out of chords, he is vert intentional. He shows us that the temple needs to be a place of worship. By extension, we should also remember that the church is a place of worship and praise of God and be attentive to how we conduct ourselves in the church.
There is also something greater here. Jesus says for his reason for doing this, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” And then the key to understanding is this, “But he was speaking about the temple of his body…” Ponder this, God took on our flesh and dwelt among us. Christ having a body like us lived without sin and glorified God perfectly in his human nature. Which tells us something as well, that we are to live in union with God and glorify him with all our being.
Remember, “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes us a temple of the Holy Spirit. (see CCC #1265) How are we to live as temples of the Holy Spirit?
In the first reading God gives Moses the ten commandments. They give us the freedom to live as temples of the Holy Spirit. Think of them like instructions on how to be the best, most loving person that you can be, the person God made you to be.
With that in mind think about tools. Most people have or have seen a screwdriver that was not used properly. It is bent, or the tip is broken. And, why? Many times, screw drivers are used as pry bars, picks, or punches. All of which are not in accord with the proper use of a screwdriver, and they ruin the screwdriver.
As a human being, we are made in the image and likeness of God with the capacity to become a temple of the Holy Spirit through baptism. God gives everyone the commandments as the means to free us to love God and neighbor. Remember love is what we do not what we feel. When we break a commandment, we do not just break a rule, but we do something that goes against what it is to be truly human living love with God and neighbor.
We need to look at our own lives in light of the commandments. And ask how are we living as a temple of the Holy Spirit? Then look at the third precept, to receive the Holy Eucharist at least once a year during the Easter Season. First to do this we need to be following the commandments and be living in a way we can receive Jesus into our temple through our reception of the Eucharist.
To receive the Eucharist, in addition to perquisites, i.e. baptism, one needs to be in the state of Grace, i.e.. no mortal sin, and fast an hour before communion, may only receive communion twice a day for different occasions. Even though one is not required to receive communion it is a good practice to grow in love of the Eucharist. And, if someone does not receive, it is not for us to wonder what they have done.
Our Focus needs to be truly living as a temple of the Holy Spirit and welcoming Christ into the temple of our body and soul through our reception of the Most Holy Eucharist.