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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic

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Third Sunday of Lent — March 7, 2021

Bishop’s Reflections

March 7, 2021

Each week, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Third Sunday of Lent — March 7, 2021

The temple in Jerusalem was the place of pilgrimage for an observant Jew. It was also the cultural, political, economic and religious heart of the nation. It was, more importantly, the house of God.

Now, the moneychangers performed a service. The Roman coinage had an image of Caesar, which was idolatrous to a devout Jew. Those coins needed to be traded for acceptable coinage in the temple. And the merchants selling animals for sacrifice also served some good.

However, both the moneychangers and the merchants had turned the temple into a place of personal gain. It was not the service of God that they performed, but the service of their own desires.

Jesus makes it clear that the place of God must be kept holy. It must be used for worship, service of the poor, and teaching. It was a place for a holy community to gather and strengthen one another to do holy things.

I often think that our parishes must also be places of worship, service, and teaching (evangelization) so that we can be set apart for the things of God.

Now, Jesus makes it clear that the temple worship of Jerusalem is about to change. He is, so to speak, cleaning house.

This passage of scripture makes it evident that Jesus will be the new temple. He is the place where God resides. Or as St. John says at the beginning of his Gospel, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” His body, which will be destroyed on Calvary, will be raised up again on Easter Sunday as proof that he is the new locus of worship in spirit and in truth.

As believers, we make our pilgrimage to Jesus. We offer him our sacrifices in exchange for his supreme sacrifice for us on the cross. We worship him as our God and we ask him to change anything about us that is in opposition to his new way.

Have a blessed week everyone.

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