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Cleansing this Temple


It was Thursday afternoon; I had just read over Sunday’s gospel about the cleansing of the Temple.  I had to prepare “Just a thought” in time for the bulletin on Friday morning.  I was drowsy…and dosed off for a few minutes at the computer.

I dreamt about Jesus  coming into our church here at Bergvliet.  He tried to speak to the congregation but then a cell phone went off, and another, and another.  He looked exasperated.   He tried to speak to some people near him but they were busy chewing gum.  He moved down the isle and found someone reading a newspaper (was it the Southern Cross?), someone else busy fixing their hair…..then suddenly (like it happens in dreams) he was at the microphone and his voice rang out announcing a collection: a red basket would be passed round for cell phones, chewing gum, newspapers etc and a blue basket would be passed round full of clothes to be taken by those skimpily glad.

Then suddenly I woke up with half a page written.

Yes, Lent is about cleansing the Temple.  Jesus was not inaugurating a political revolution nor violating the sacred Law of God.  He was trying to remove whatever obstacles he found to true worship.

The deeper truth is that Jesus himself is the New Temple, reconstructed after his death as a Temple that is everywhere, a Living Temple where we can all worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  As Christians we ourselves become Temples of God.

But we are the sort of Temples that need regular cleansing.  And of course, such cleansing is about the deep things in our life: our faith, our prayer, our service of God and one another…..but a lingering sense of the dream suggests that we also need to attend to the quality of our behaviour, even to smaller matters of courtesy and respect.

Let’s have a good cleansing this Lent,

Seán Wales, C.Ss.R


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