• Gabriel von Wendt

John 2:13-22 - All the Corners of Your Life

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 forty-six 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 and the word Jesus had spoken.

Walking through the impressive structures of the Temple of Jerusalem must have had an overwhelming effect on everyone. The several courts with their respective classes of people admitted there; the endless corridors and galleries of marble columns stretching out through the space into a wide but at the same time enclosed room of sacrality; the massive walls towering over a stream of countless pilgrims filing through the building to perform the prescribed rituals: what a display of cult and service! Experiencing it must have made gleam the religious fibers of every visitor whatsoever.

And Jesus? The passage tells us of his rage at the sight of the commercial abuse of the sacred space. Questioned about his authority in the matter, he draws the strict relation between the temple and his own body. But He evidently did not simply consider Himself to be the New Temple to replace the old; if so, the old one could have been dismissed and its abuse disregarded. Rather, Jesus’ Incarnation fulfilled what was only symbolized in that ancient building: God lives among His people. Whoever has known Jesus to be true God and true man gets a sense for what that means. He Himself, above all, felt how the abuse of the sacrality of the Temple went directly against who He was Himself: the presence of God, no longer in stone but in flesh. The insult against the “concept” of Temple was an insult against Jesus’ Incarnation.


Let Christ come into all the corners of your life

There is nothing is as sacred as the Body of Christ. Nowhere else is He as present as in the Holy Eucharist. And precisely through the mystery of the Incarnation and of the Eucharist He teaches us that He does not shun the material and human ways to be present and to make Himself available to us. Thus, you shall never transform any corner of your life into a profane marketplace where He would not feel comfortable. Let Christ come into all the corners of your life. Every courtyard in the temple of your life has the dignity and potential for Him to dwell there. Do not restrict His presence in your life to Sundays, nor to the times of prayer and mass, nor to the moments when you are among like-minded people: All corners of your life are open to Him.