What we ought to know – A Time Of Overturning The Table
Child of God, I welcome you to the Third beautiful Sunday of Lent. We should reminded that God made different Covenants with the Jewish people and during the Lenten Season of Year B, the Church calls her attention to these different Covenants.
✓On the first Sunday (Ist Reading was from Gen. 9:8-15), was about God’s Covenant with Noah(Noatic Covenant)
✓The Second Sunday (Gen. 22:1-18), dwelt on God’s Covenant with Abraham(Abrahamic Covenant).
✓On this Third Sunday of Lent (Exod 20:1-17), we are seeing God’s Covenant with Moses and the People of Israel(Mosaic Covenant).
These Covenants has conditions attached. YAHWEH will provide and protect the people of Israel and in return, the Israelites will obey the Ten Commandments and other Laws given by God through His servant Moses. Thus, we have the Ten Commandments as a reminder of “OUR DUTY TO GOD”= (1) ADORATION (2) WORSHIP (3) REVERENCE.
And also our duty to our Neighbours. But in the history of Israel showed that they were not always faithful to the covenant. They broke the covenant many times. But God’s Covenant did not stop, the full revelation of God was to be found in Jesus Christ who estabilished a New Covenant that is more universal(Jews and Gentiles alike).
Thus, in the Gospel Reading of today in John 2:13-25, the author does something strange. He presents an Angry Jesus. Jesus entered the Synagogue, that is, the house of prayer. And what did he see? He saw people doing business in the house of God. He quickly made a whip and chased all of them away, scattering their tables.
The Jewish authority provoked Jesus, and he reacted adequately. I know if it were some fake Christians, they would have removed this part of the Gospel because they cannot reconcile Jesus getting angry with his teachings on peace, love and tolerance. People who reason this way are never real. That Jesus got angry does not mean he ceases to be a man of peace, love and tolerance. Jesus is love. He is the prince of peace.
I know many people will be contemplating on the ugly things happening in our various Churches and places of worship today. It appears many religious and especially, Christian leaders have suddenly become wiser than Jesus that they even think Jesus was wrong in doing what he did, while the people were right in selling and changing money inside the Temple. During the time of Jesus, people sold only cattle, sheep, pigeons and changed money in the Temple.
Today, Christians do imaginable and unimaginable things in their Churches, all in the name of worship and doing the will of God. Very shameful indeed!
Even the animals were sold at exorbitant prices, which made the dealers more covetous. The money-changers made considerable profit in supplying Jewish coins, which alone could be offered in the Temple service, in exchange for Roman and Greek money. Today, Christians sell all sort of rubbish in their churches at very costly prices.
The most annoying is that pious and emotional stories are attached to these things, and people pay exorbitant prices, thinking they are acquiring God’s blessings, when in reality, they are only enriching the marketers. Jesus should intervene again. His zeal for the sacredness of the house of God should contrast and neutralize our own zeal for money.
Jesus’ reaction is an invitation to Christians especially to Christian leaders, to have a re-think on the things we do in our various Churches. Everything cannot go under the name of worship. Certainly, it may not be the fault of the faithful because those who are supposed to guide them prefer to keep quiet.
Hence, they are responsible for these aberrations. Sometimes even, the leaders are the ones who organize these marketing in the house of God. Be on your guide! Very pitiable that the house of God today has been transformed into shopping malls. The most worrying is that these things are justified with one pious story or the other, only to arouse people’s sentiments and ensure they buy even when they don’t want or even have the money.
The end cannot justify the means. Always distinguish between true worship and business disguised as worship. Places of worship should not be used for advertising goods, even if those goods are manufactured by the angels. Do not be part of those who transform God’s house into shoprite, market square and fast-food centers. Let the zeal for the house of God consume you.
As Jesus entered into the Synagogue and chased away the merchants, we should also enter into our lives and remove everything that should not be there.
We must remove ungodliness, greed, envy, discrimination, laziness, gossip, wickedness, arrogance, deception, hypocrisy, taking advantage of others, bad company, irresponsibility, judging others without hearing from them, extravagancy, lack of self-control, and other things which you can add. Take away those things that prevent you from living a happy life and from realizing your aspirations.
As Jesus cleansed the Temple, may he also clean our hearts. As he comes to dwell within us, may he find our hearts worthy of his presence. He sits as a refiner of silver. His fan is in his hand, and he thoroughly purges his floor (our hearts).
Subject yourself to God’s wisdom and strength. Happy month of March. And may you march to good health, love, care, progress, true happiness, true friendship, understanding, wisdom, justice, protection and blessings from the God Almighty.
May you be blessed this week and always +. Remember that “A CHRISTIAN IS NOT AN ORDINARY PERSON AND THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN IS A LIFE OF WARFARE”.
Exod. 20:1-17, Psalm 19:8-11, ICor. 1:22-25, Jn. 2:13-25.
A Time Of Overturning The Table
Fr. Emmanuel Uzoh(Nwachinaemere)
Peace be with you!