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March 3, 2024 Bulletin & News

By February 29, 2024No Comments

She left her water jar. -John 4:28

Today’s Gospel of the cleansing of the Temple is one of the most familiar – and uncomfortable – passages of the Bible. We are familiar with the story, but I don’t think any of us is accustomed to seeing Jesus this way, turning over the tables and throwing out the vendors and money-changers.

Yet the crowd that saw Jesus believed in him, and thought he was doing great work. But Jesus wasn’t looking for their approval, as we hear, “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” (John 2:24-25).

Why were the crowds drawn to Jesus? Maybe some thought he was a rebel, ready like them to overthrow the order of things to make way for something new. Perhaps others saw Jesus as restoring the old ways in their purity, casting out all the distorting novelties that had crept in. Either way, they were eager to make him their hero, made after their own image.

But Jesus is not looking to be anyone’s hero, and he is not looking for their acclaim or approval. He comes as our Savior. Zeal for his Father’s house consumes his heart – the house of the Temple and even more the living temple of each man and woman created in God’s image and likeness. He calls us back to the dignity that was ours from the beginning by casting out the order of sin that has settled into our hearts and souls and world. And that is never very comfortable.

Ultimately, Jesus points to his own Body as the Temple, where God dwells and where true and perfect worship of the Father is offered in the Spirit. He will freely lay down his life in obedience to the Father’s will, and in being raised up, calls us to an even greater dignity with him than our first parents knew.

Another option for this Sunday’s Gospel – especially geared toward our catechumens – is the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). She is not comfortable speaking with Jesus, but neither is she scared away. He overturns her life by inviting her to open her heart to him. She steps out from the shame and isolation that had settled into her life into the growing light of his mercy. She becomes a witness to Him not in spite of her past, but precisely because she allows that light to enter the dark corners of her life. She becomes a living sign of dignity restored and new life outpoured.

She came to the well with a jar to draw water for the day. But she left her water jar (John 4:28) after discovering in Jesus the source of living water for eternity.
Don’t be afraid to let Jesus overturn your life.

-Fr. Tom


San Pedro Comms

Author San Pedro Comms

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