1ST READING Ex 20: 1-17 // RESPONSORIAL PSALM 19 // 2ND READING 1 Cor 1: 22-25 // GOSPEL READING Jn 2: 13-25
When was last time you cleaned your room? Sorted out loose papers, pulled out all your clothes from the cabinet and reorganized them? or do you ever maintain a made-up bed every time you rise up? Well, I tell you, it is not advisable to fold your bed sheets and blanket immediately when you rise. Some microscopic bacteria had lived over the night and leaving your bed mess up, exposed on air will kill the bacteria on dehydration. Sounds a good justification for those who do not keep their bed made up.
Usually when we have general cleanings, we find stuffs that are sentimental and meaningful to us. It may be a Christmas, Birthday cards or Valentine love letter. A stuffed toy or dried flowers, maybe a packaging, a cellophane of a brand or of a mall. Perhaps even the carton and foil of the chocolate from your Ex-boy/girlfriend or worn-out clothes, a blunt slippers or shoes. Others may not bother to keep them at all, but for some they continue keeping them. What drives us to keep these things, is the memory it carries. That once, we felt special and, in a sense, gives us identity. Some maybe good, some maybe bad and it takes time to be ready to give it up. All of us know how to keep things. Not just the things that are given and bought, but ‘things’ that makes us who we are. Things that we keep and give us identity such as values, virtues and both good and bad habits. Keeping things is not the only reason that makes our place crowded, but buying too. Bringing things in to our homes and rooms which we think are useful but actually not. Yes, it helps us creating our space yet it is crowding it too.
Did you know that cleaning is therapeutic? Not when we are told to clean by our parents and the bargaining begins that usually ends to shouting and flying objects. Not this one. When you just grab the broom and start to organize things, then you perspire and after you feel great knowing things are in order again and you feel satisfied and accomplished. When things are clean and in order, we are happy and we are at peace with our parents.
Today is the Third Sunday of Lent and we will hear Jesus cleaning. Making whip out of cords driving all out of them in temple area. Jesus shows as a strong emotion to will in maintaining the sacredness- ‘cleanliness’ of the temple. The temple has its own currency which explains the presence of the money changers. They used this currency to buy their sacrificial offerings from those who sell oxen, sheep and doves that is used to perform the rites in the Temple. But Jesus said, “Take these out of here and stop making my father’s house a market place.” Jesus talks about destroying the temple that is made crowded like a market place by the people and replacing it where truly God dwells. He did that when He conquered death and rise again. This is how He had replaced the meaning of the temple. His body which we also have, is the new temple.
Jesus’ desire to cleanse the Temple, leads us to reflect on the presence of God. That God is indeed in the Temple and with our utmost effort, behave and maintain its sacredness. For as Jesus have cleansed the temple, the presence of God now extends to our individual temple’s- our body. When we look around in our home and room, does it reflect the presence of God? They say cleanliness is next to Godliness, this old dictum where we usually see in primary schools is indeed a good theme to reflect on this Sunday’s Gospel. Further, our body belongs to the category of externals and times we allow this body to become a market place, by keeping vices and bad habits that loses its sacredness. When we face the mirror do, we see a neat and clean presence of our body? Are we clean enough inside and out? The dictum is very simple, cleanliness is next to Godliness and let us extend its meaning in the cleanliness within. This Lent is the time to cleanse our body of these long-time kept vices and bad habits. Let us feel that therapeutic sense that the cleaning brings, let us be satisfied and persevere in cleaning. No matter how dirty we are, BASAHAN MAN, NAKAKALINIS DIN.