Gospel Reading: Sunday 3 March 2024

Third Sunday of Lent – John 2:13-25 13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who…

WelCom March 2024

Third Sunday of Lent – John 2:13-25

13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. 15 He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, 16 and to those who sold doves he said, ‘Take these out of here,’ and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’ 17 His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. 18 At this the Jews answered and said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ 19 Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. 23 While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. 24 But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 25 and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

We are the Body of Christ

Dr Elizabeth Julian rsm

‘My favourite part of the Mass on Sunday is when our parish priest will rise and say: “The Mass has ended.” It’s about that time that I start to think about what we’re going to be having for lunch! But our priest continues, now with his arms outstretched, and he will close with this charge to the congregation: “Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.” Mr Speaker, it is with that spirit, the spirit of peace and love and service, with which my extended family who are here today come to this House.’

The late Efeso Collins’ conclusion (above) to his parliamentary maiden speech 15 February 2024 captures well the zeal for or commitment to God that the disciples saw in Jesus. When the disciples witnessed Jesus’ ‘temper tantrum’ in the Temple they recognised in him the man in Psalm 69 whose zeal for God made him an object of scorn.

The moneychangers and pigeon-sellers were legitimately conducting business in the correct area. But by his decisive actions Jesus has highlighted the Temple’s primary function. The Prophet Zechariah, whom Jesus quotes, had prophesied that in the end times there would be no businesses operating in the Temple. Jesus upset and confused the Temple authorities even further by speaking symbolically of his body as the Temple and predicting his resurrection. 

In claiming to be the new Temple Jesus says that he is now the place where God is encountered, the place where God is truly present in the world, no longer confined to a building. 

Today we, as the Body of Christ, are each called to be living expressions of this presence, called to zeal for God, called to love and service.

So what areas in our lives need ‘overturning’? What needs to be ‘driven out’?

Fa’anānā Efeso Collins (1974–21 February 2024) was a man of faith, a New Zealand politician, activist, academic, husband and father. He was a tireless advocate for the Pasifika community of South Auckland, where he lived with his wide Fia and their two daughters. Born and raised in Ōtara, Fa’anānā was a devout Christian who led a local church youth group and ran mentoring programmes.

He was a Member of Parliament for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from October 2023 until his sudden death on 21 February 2024. One week after giving his maiden speech (referenced left), Collins attended a charity fun run in Auckland. He collapsed during the event and died at the scene.

Malolo filemu.