By Fr. Andrew Kelly
It is the season of Lent. Through prayer, fasting and alms giving, the believing community exposes its soul as the temple of Jesus, the mystical body of Christ.
As the community listens to Sunday’s Gospel (John 2:13-25), it becomes aware that the temple Jesus is cleaning out and purifying is the very soul of the believing community.
The community has forgotten that it is Christ’s body and God’s temple through which God reveals God’s love for the world. It has become encrusted with all sorts of practices and behavior that block God’s light and revelation to shine forth.
So every Lent Christ makes a “cord of whips” and drives from the community’s soul all that interferes with the community’s mission of revealing God’s unlimited loving presence. Through Word, body and blood, Christ screams at the community: “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!”
Jesus’ Lenten house cleaning is never pleasant and usually painful. But as someone once observed: “In the presence of Jesus, what do we hold onto?” The answer is nothing. Everything must go so God’s light and presence can shine brilliantly and unencumbered from the soul of the believing community.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)