Week 3

Introduction

We have come a long way from the development of the mechanical clock by Benedictine monks in the thirteenth century to the smart watches that people wear today. More than seven hundred years ago, some saw an economic advantage to be gained from using the clock to control people’s use of time, a perversion of the desire to give glory to God that motivated the monks.

Lent is, among other things, a time for self-reflection oriented towards deepening our relationship with God, as followers of Christ. The Review of Life method of See, Judge, Act, which was developed by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn (1882-1967), provides us with another opportunity to engage in the process of transformation through faith in action.

In the Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus recognises the self-serving motivation of the sellers and money changers who use the Temple for their personal gain and acts to restore God’s justice.

The Gospel

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me.

The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him. (John 2:13-25)

The Enquiry

See

  • What happens here? List the elements of the story. Have you ever experienced God present and active in the world? If you have, choose one experience and list the elements that made up the event. made a stand based on justice for God? What happened?
  • What does John tell us about Jesus that can be used to explain his action? What does his action reveal about his values?
  • What impact did Jesus’ action of driving the money-changers and others out of the Temple have on those who witnessed his action or who heard about it?

Judge

  • What do you think about the Temple incident? And Jesus’ reference to his body as a temple? Do you think he has justified his action?
  • What should be happening in the Temple? How should people be treated? And if a person’s body is a temple, how should people be treated? Think of a situation in the world, or in your life, where treating one another as temples of God would bring about a better world?
  • What does your faith tell you about which values are worth adopting? What has Jesus said and done that supports what you believe? How is your faith challenged by what you have read in this Gospel?

Act

  • What do you want to change so that people choose good and avoid evil?
  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? When and where will you carry out the action and how often?
  • Who can you involve in your action and how, when and how often will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson

Image source: Jan Sanders van Hemessen: Christ driving the money changers from the Temple, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Picryl, Public Domain

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