Today’s gospel is the account in the gospel of John (chapter 2) of Jesus cleansing the Temple. In the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) this incident comes shortly before Jesus’ arrest (and is portrayed as partly leading to it), whereas in John it takes place at the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, shortly after the miracle of the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Like that miracle, this dramatic and violent event is a ‘sign’ of the glory of Jesus. The focus of Jesus’ anger is the money changing and commercialism going on in the Temple precincts, so this account, in the pattern of Scripture readings we hear in Lent, is partly a warning against love of money. This chimes with the warnings of Pope Francis about the dangers facing us as we look forward to coming out of this coming pandemic – the world needs new and better economic and financial policies, directed to help those who have suffered most in the last year – and were suffering already – rather than those who are already rich and prosperous. You cannot serve God and money.
Sunday’s Gospel: Jesus Cleanses the Temple