Scripture: John 2:13-22 (NRSV)
Jesus points to the ways of peace. His life and ministry powerfully demonstrate love of neighbor and wholly living in faith. But Jesus did not sit and watch the unjust practices of the world strengthen until they became the norm. He was never apathetic about transgressions against self, other or God. He did not avoid conflict out of fear of being perceived as a troublemaker or disturbing the calm. When faced with injustice, Jesus took action.
We often shy away from the clearing of the temple account, afraid that it contradicts pacifist values, afraid of a Jesus for whom making peace may include righteous anger. Or perhaps we give this story no more than a cursory glance, categorizing it as an anomaly in the actions of Christ, out of fear that it calls us. It demands that we also take action when faced with wrong in this world, with situations that deny our God who loves and welcomes all unconditionally. This story challenges us to confront injustice out of love. It challenges us to do our part to dismantle systems of oppression, to destroy our preconceived notions of what (and who) is holy, and to break down barriers of inequality. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to wait patiently and a time to stand up and lovingly proclaim that we will follow the model of a Christ who actively loved all, turning this world upside down and inside out.
May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
~ Franciscan benediction
Scripture: John 2:13-22 (NRSV)
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16He told those who were selling the doves, Take these things out of here! Stop making my Fathers house a marketplace! 17His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for your house will consume me. 18The Jews then said to him, What sign can you show us for doing this? 19Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20The Jews then said, This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days? 21But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.