3rd Sunday of Lent

Gospel Lesson: John 2:13-22

Key Verse: His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.

 

Commentary

The disciples remembered a phrase from Psalm 69, an appeal to God from one who is suffering from hatred and estrangement. “Because passion for your house has consumed me, the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me!” Jesus’ anger and actions are about far more than merchants conducting business in the temple. Anyone who insults God is also defiling God’s house. The temple officials who profit from the business taking place, the ones who put unnecessary or harsh burdens on people who are poor, the ones who use the letter of the law to deny God’s law of love, are guilty. Though Jesus cleanses the temple, passion for God’s house includes far more than caring for a religion facility. The passion that consumes Jesus’ ministry is the well-being of all creation, all people, all that is and all that will be. The passion that consumes Jesus’ ministry is creating a world which is the fulfillment of God’s plans, where it will be “on earth as it is in heaven.” Although we often understand “passion” to refer to deep feelings about something, another definition of the word is “suffering,” and a third definition is “love.” In Jesus, the three come together, for his deep feelings for God’s house, his willingness to suffer for the sake of what he loves, lead to the cross and resurrection, the Passion of the Christ. The disciples remembered, and believed.

 
Meditation/Call to Action
  • Sometimes this passage of scripture is used as an example of “holy anger,” the willingness to confront practices or assumptions that are destructive to God’s holy ways. What are some of the ways in which God is being insulted today?
  • Are there ways in which religious laws are being used to place burdens on people whom God longs to set free?
  • How strong is our passion for God’s house?
  • Are there ways in which we might put “holy anger” to work in our lives to eliminate those things that prevent our passion, our willingness to serve God and God’s people, even to the point of suffering ourselves?
 

Prayer

O God,

            if our passion for your house grows dim from weariness or doubt,

            ignite our hearts once again with your love,

that we may remember, and believe in your love,

            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 


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