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REFLECTION ON THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT by DEACON TONY MARTUCCI

The Temple in Jerusalem was the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Inside  was a room called the Holy of Holies. Once a year the High Priest could enter  and offer sacrifice. A large curtain hung from the ceiling to the floor at the  entrance. Inside was the Arc of the Covenant which the Hebrews carried with  them from Egypt. It contained the rod of Moses, the tablets of the Ten  Commandments and some manna from the desert: reminders of God’s presence  among them. On the day Jesus visited, He found merchants in the court outside the Temple  selling doves, pigeons, and lambs to the worshipers who came to offer sacrifice.  They could not use Roman coins at the Temple, so there were bankers, money  changers, who would exchange shekels for the Roman money, for a fee. They  polluted the Temple with earthly matters. Rather than a place of worship and  encountering God, the Temple had become big business for the Priests. The  merchants and Priests profaned what God made holy. This is why Ch