A troubling experience with Jesus
Destroy this temple,John 2:!9
and in three days I will raise it up
Begin with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.
Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:
- Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
- Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
Led by the Spirit – Eric Nordhoff
Read the Gospel John 2:13-25
This is a familiar Gospel story. Our hearing it can be influenced by our familiarity of it. Try and read it as if for the first time, noticing each action as it unfolds.
Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me.
The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.
During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave, but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them; he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.
Reflect on the Gospel
Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use some quietening music again if you wish.
When you are ready, move onto reflecting on what took place in the Gospel.
- What response is this Gospel story evoking in you?
Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB of the World Community for Christian Mediation offers a reflection on this Gospel as part of his daily reflections for Lent. Read it now by clicking here
- How does that reflection change your reaction to this Gospel story?
- Jesus speaks of himself as a sanctuary – a dwelling place of God. You, too, are a dwelling place of God. Take a moment to open yourself to the awareness of God within you and within your life.
Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in written or on video.
Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB of the World Community for Christian Mediation offers a reflection on this Gospel as part of his daily reflections for Lent.
See also the homily by Fr. John from the 11:30 Mass in Kilcoole this Sunday.
The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. We invite you to listen to or join with Richard Rohr in praying this prayer (see cac.org)
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.