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 Christ became so passionate.
Today, we too are temples of God. Christ lives within us. This is especially true when we receive the Eucharist. St Augustine says. “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Have we polluted our temples with worldly goods and desires? Is God truly number one in our lives, or do we just call upon Him for an hour on Sunday, or when we need something?
As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s take time to reflect on what is important in our lives and FAST from those things that separate us from Christ.