First reading: Exodus 20:1-17.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18(19):8-11.
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25.
Gospel: John 2:13-25.
Link to readings.
We continue our Lenten journey, and join Jesus this week as he goes up to Jerusalem. Our readings offer us the wisdom of God’s law in the commandments, and Jesus’s forceful action regarding the true meaning of God’s Temple.
The ten commandments in the First Reading from Exodus present the Law as a freedom charter – we have been freed from slavery to serve our God.
Psalm 18 (19) is a joyful poem of praise for God’s precepts. It links the teaching of the commandments to their personification in Jesus – wisdom, truth and light.
St Paul in the Second Reading preaches a crucified Christ.This is an obstacle to some, but for Christ’s followers, through his death and resurrection, he is the power and the wisdom of God.
In the Gospel, Jesus ejects the buyers and sellers from the Temple and in doing so reveals himself as the true Temple. Like the Temple, he too, will be destroyed in his body, but will rise again.
As we journey with Jesus, may we find in him the true sanctuary, and perhaps the wisdom to know when to disturb the peace.
Psalm: 18 (19)
As I come to my place of prayer, I still my mind and body.
I take up the psalm ... aware that it was also the prayer of Jesus.
I read it slowly several times, taking in the poetry and the images. What strikes me?
The attributes of God’s law – perfect, right, holy, clear, true …?
Or its active effect – that it revives, gladdens, gives wisdom and light?
Can I see God’s law as something steady and freeing?
That it is positive and precious, to be desired? I speak to the Lord of this.
The response is a line from St John’s Gospel. Jesus is the Word – the message of eternal life.
Can I pray this psalm as it reflects his life and teaching? I finish slowly, with a prayer of thanks.
John 2: 13–25
I take time to settle gently into prayer, becoming aware of being in God’s presence.
I read the text slowly a couple of times.
Perhaps I can imagine the scene: the noise of the animals, the smells, the shouting of the traders and the jostling of the crowds.
I watch Jesus.
How do I feel when he reacts with anger, and chaos ensues? Why is this? I speak to him of my reactions.
What different questions do I ask Jesus, and how does he reply? I pause and consider the journey ahead of Jesus – how he is willing to suffer and die to be true to his Father.
The true temple is the body of Christ.
What does this mean to me, and how can I be part of it?
‘Zeal for your house will devour me’ – perhaps, as I gently end my prayer,
I can ask for the gift of his Spirit, so that I may work with greater fervour for his kingdom.
Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham