Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Lent

John 2:13-25

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Agnes Nelson

Published: March 08, 2015

Read John 2:13-25

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... Read More…

In today’s Gospel, we see a very angry Jesus overturning tables, with a whip, and driving the money sellers out of His Father’s house. What made Jesus so angry? If we read the Gospel stories carefully, we begin to realise that Jesus had a passion for making people feel that they belonged. He gives the boy with epilepsy back to his father (Luke 9:37-43). He tells the leper to show himself to the priest so that he will regain the status of being one of the community (Mk.1:40-45). He includes women and children as part of his new community.

Jesus is not one to exclude and perhaps that explains his actions in today’s Gospel. These money sellers are barring the way to the Temple for the poor and the sick. If you cannot get in, then you cannot buy anything. By clearing them out, the Way is opened up.

For us today the question remains: whom do we exclude from our assemblies either attitudinally or physically? We are urged to go to the margins and to those who are excluded because they hold a secret for our own conversion. I have experienced this in my own ministry. I am privileged to work with people who have learning disabilities. They are often not welcomed in our parishes because they are “different.” Yet, when they take their rightful place in the parish community, they enrich greatly our services by their presence, their joy and their reverence. As Fr Daniel O’ Leary says, Their minds know nothing about transubstantiation or consubstantiality, but their hearts know how to adore.”

Jesus is saying to us today: “Welcome the stranger, the immigrant, the sinners, those who are different. Open your heart to them. Open your church doors to them.” As we move closer to Jesus during this Lent, let us ask Him to reveal to us the people whom we “exclude” in our lives and then learn from Him to be inclusve.


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