In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

3rd March 2024.Third Sunday of Lent. CLEANING THE TEMPLE OF OUR BODY

Jesus entered God’s Temple and drove out all the traders who had transformed the building from a place of prayer into a commercial marketplace. In baptism, our bodies are transformed into sanctuaries as holy temples to honour and worship God. It is important that we do not misuse our bodies to satisfy sinful cravings. The scene in today’s Gospel (John 2:13-25), is exactly what happens in confession. Jesus enters our bodies and drives out sin that has no business in the sanctuary of our hearts. When we sin, we allow Satan to overturn the divine order of our bodies into his sinful disorder, which greatly offends God. Every confession is a form of exorcism, because Jesus enters our bodies and drives out all the darkness of sin from our souls, by replacing it with His divine Light. He returns His peace and grace back into our souls. Jesus, who is the Sanctuary and source of all holiness, allowed Himself to be crucified and die, in order to rise in three days, to bring us new life beyond the grave (1Cor 1:22-25). This new life begins on earth, when we live by the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17). Jesus is asking us to die to our sins now, in order to bring forth this new life in the Spirit. Catholics who have no interest in the Mass are like the pagans who do not understand why Jesus died for us. While they may say they wish to go to heaven, they show no interest in getting there, by their laziness in not living by the heavenly commandments on earth. To reject the commandments on earth, reveals one’s intention never to live by them in heaven, hence locking themselves out of eternal life, because that is the Law in which all the citizens willingly live-by in heaven.
Padre Pio said that the Rosary bead, made out of chord, is the weapon against the devil. In making a whip out of some chord, to drive out the temple intruders, maybe Jesus is drawing our attention towards the power of the Rosary, reminding us to pray it every day, especially in the season of Lent. The Rosary doesn’t substitute confession, but when prayed, it’s a powerful prayer to help us resist the temptation of Satan. In the first reading (Ex 20:1-17), God reminds us that the Ten Commandments are very much relevant in today’s world and should be adhered to. To live in sin will prevent us getting into heaven. It is never too late to repent and change our lives to live by God’s divine will and teachings. Sunday Mass is an essential ingredient to put in the mixture of our lives. It expresses our gratitude to Jesus for all He has done for us. Our reward will be great in heaven for the faithful only. God bless, Fr. Brendan.