Fr. John Hemsing
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Seminary

The Lord be with you.

And with your spirit.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

Glory to you O Lord.

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep and doves as well as the money changers seated there. 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 and to those who sold doves he said "Take these out of here and stop making my father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of scripture “Zeal for your house will consume me.” At this the Jews answered and said to him "what sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered and said to them "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." the Jews said "This temple has been under construction for 46 years and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore when he was raised from the dead his disciples remembered that he had said this and they came to believe the scripture. The word Jesus had spoken. 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. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

We are now in the season of Lent. The word Lent is apparently derived from the old English word which means “lengthen.” It refers to the lengthening of the daylight hours that occurs in the northern hemisphere as spring approaches. It is in this period of transition from late winter to early spring that the season of Lent falls. It is in the springtime that many people like to do what is called their spring cleaning. They open up the windows and they air out the house, clean the dirt and the clutter that had accumulated over the winter months. They give their house a good cleaning. In the Gospel Jesus did a little housecleaning in the temple. The money changers in the temple were there to be of help to people. They would change the Roman coins they used daily to the temple currency so that they would not defile the temple. People sold sheep, oxen and doves to be used as offerings or sacrifices. These services were part of the temple, unfortunately they became corrupted and they cheated people. Jesus made it clear that there was no room for this in the temple, the house of prayer. And what did he do? He cleared them out. He drove them out. "Get out of here! This is a house of prayer, not a marketplace." Lent is a time for us as well to do a little spring cleaning. Not just cleaning our homes but our temples, temples of the Holy Spirit, our temple, our selves. We at times can become cluttered with sin, resentment, grudges and these things we need to rid ourselves of. Lent is a time to rid ourselves of the clutter that cramps the Holy Spirit from working through us. Lent is a time to get back to the basics of living the commandments, living our faith in Jesus Christ.

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