Saturday, April 3, 2021

My latest column: “We Gave Up Our Church Building for Lent”


“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

When the Lord used the image of a temple for His sacred Body the metaphor was possible because of the greatest achievement of the Jewish people. They had constructed one of the wonders of the ancient world, vast in its magnificence and unexcelled in beauty, the monumental and iconic edifice in Jerusalem for the worship of the true God who revealed Himself to Moses and their Fathers.

In Lent each year we hear again the Gospel of John’s second chapter, which recounts the cleansing of that temple, because of the conversation that follows this dramatic demonstration of the Lord’s zeal for His Father’s house.

“In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade’” (John 2:14-16).

The Jews challenge Him and He responds with a reference to His own death:

“ ‘What sign have you to show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’” (John 2:18-19).

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