From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Jesus drives out the moneychangers from the Temple and says that he will destroy the temple and raise it up again.
Scripture: In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:14-16
It was time for the annual Passover celebration, so Jesus traveled to Jerusalem. When he arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple. He couldn’t believe his eyes. There in the temple area he saw people who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves for the people to use as sacrifices in the temple. There were tables set up for money changers so that people could change their money to pay their temple taxes. It looked more like a carnival than a house of worship.
Jesus did not like what he saw. He was so angry that he made a whip from some rope and he drove the cattle and sheep and those who were selling them from the temple. He went to the tables of the money changers and turned them over, scattering coins all over the temple floor. To the ones who were selling the doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market.”
As we think about Jesus cleansing the temple, we should also think about some other cleaning that needs to be done. We are in a season called Lent. At first, the word Lent meant ‘the season of spring’. It is a time to look inside ourselves and see if there is anything in us that needs to be changed.
Dear Jesus, during this time when we think of ‘spring cleaning’, we ask you to forgive us when we do wrong and to make us clean. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: What injustices anger you? What are you doing about them?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Love You Forever
Written by Robert Munsch
Family Discussion: Today’s Gospel invites us to reflect upon our worship of God. For Jesus and his Jewish contemporaries, the Temple was an important, holy place where they gathered to worship God. The Christian understanding of worship was transformed in light of Jesus’ Resurrection. In the Christian understanding, God is worshiped in a person, the person of Jesus Christ. As we read in today’s Gospel, Jesus is himself the Temple that will be destroyed, but in three days God will raise him up again.
As you gather as a family, talk about places and times when you have experienced God’s presence. After his Resurrection, Jesus’ disciples understood that Jesus was present with them as they gathered to pray and especially when they gathered to share a meal. Read together today’s Gospel, John 2:13-25. Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel that he is God’s presence with us. Thank God for Jesus’ presence with us, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.
Money changer: A money changer is a person or organization whose business is the exchange of coins or currency of one country, for that of another. In ancient times in Jerusalem, pilgrims visiting the Jewish Temple on Jewish Holy Days would change some of their money from the standard Greek and Roman currency for Jewish and Tyrian money, the latter two the only ones accepted as payments inside the Temple. With this Temple money the pilgrim would purchase a sacrificial animal, usually a pigeon or a lamb, in preparation for the following day’s events.