1.Ex 20: 1-17
2.1Cor 1:22-25
3.Jn 2:13-25

THEME OF THE READINGSTrue worship is the worship in both spirit and truth”
As we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Lent, Jesus Christ teaches us the lesson on worship. We hear from the readings more especially from the Gospel reading Jesus purifying the temple in Jerusalem. An act of Jesus to cleanse the temple practically did not mean merely the removal the removal of unwanted items from the temple; by this symbolic act Jesus is calling the peoples of the earth to worship God in spirit and truth.  True worshipers are those who worship God the father in spirit and truth. In this context we are all invited to make a move on what dominates our hearts and minds. In our today’s World we are being possessed by what we call materialism, and secularism the things that at times turned out to be worshiped
To worship means to acknowledge the transcendence of God and his claim on us as our creator. To worship in spirit and truth means means to prepare our hearts and minds by being ready to submit ourselves totally to God by obeying his commandments, covenant and by seeking the wisdom of God which is the wisdom of the cross.  Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem in order to bring the new worship, to change the entire system of Jewish worship, to bring the system that could transcend Jewish ritual worship to spirit and truth worship. Rituals, customs and traditions are the things that hinder us not to worship God in spirit and truth. Jesus today also is inviting each one of us to be open to him for purification. We are invited to make a radical change in our lives, that is to change our way of behaving, to receive the church’s sacraments more especially the sacrament of reconciliation. Leaving behind our sins we thus welcome Jesus to be in our hearts.
When the side of Jesus was pierced during his passion, the veil of the temple was torn into two from the top to the bottom. Thus we learn that the place of worship is no longer the temple in Jerusalem, but rather the place of worship is in the pierced side of Jesus, that we have an access to the father in the one spirit. The true worship entails in going deep within our secret chambers which is the side of Christ ( faith in Christ), and thus worship the father in spirit and truth.
In our gospel reading Jesus reminds each one of us about making a sharp contrast between a House and a market. Jesus being aware of the political and religious significant of days he strongly challenged it as well as challenging those who were responsible for it. He challenged the institution because the temple was not serving God’s purposes.  Jesus said “stop turning my father’s house into a market ( Jn2:16). A sharp contrast between a House and Market is that a house has a potential at least to be a home, and a home is the place where we find a school of Jesus’ thought ( Love, generosity, compassion, forgiveness, charity etc). People go to market to buy and sell their items. Buying and selling are not the activities to be associated with home. The activities associated with market were the barriers to some worshipers to feel the presence of God in their lives (the theme of distractions in prayer). Jesus in perceiving that reality, thus he saw a need to reform the institution.
We are invited to reflect on the need to reform our religious institutions whenever there is an agent need to do so. The church so far as it is the human institution is not perfect thus it needs a constant reform, our catholic church history attests that reality, that it has undergone many reforms since its existence ( councils, like Vatican 1 &Vatican 2). The church exists to serve the mission of Christ. The church is called to serve as the sacrament of Christ, to reveal the powerful and life giving of Christ in the world. The church should not present the distorted image of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Christ is not found in the market, but Christ is with us at home). All of us being the members of Christ’s body we need to open our hearts for spiritual growth and transformation through the ministries of the church’s sacrament which Christ himself instituted.

Thus in this Lenten season it is the time to listen to what the spirit is saying about our lives, it is the time when as individuals and community we are called to allow the spirit to reform and renew our lives so that we conform more fully to the image and likeness of Christ. 

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Chapisha Maoni