'Tis the season
1st Sunday Advent B 2015

Tom Bartolomeo
1st Sunday Advent B 2015
Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12
Psalm 46
1 Corinthians 3:9c-11,16-17
John 2:13-22
Reproduced with Permission

"The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling doves, 'Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a market-place!' His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will consume me.' The Jews then said to him, 'What sign can you show us for doing this?' Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said, 'This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken." (John 2:13-22).

Do we hear the coins clanking, tables rattling, animals bleating and turmoil in ourselves when Jesus overturns the marketplaces of our lives? Jesus wasn't just housecleaning a house of worship but the lives of people who had lost their relationship with God.

Coins, tables, doves, sheep, oxen and money changers thrown into confusion - everyone one of them His creatures. Everyone of us who may forget that we, too, are creatures who can only be bought and sold with our agreement and whose days are numbered. The temple in Jerusalem was under construction forty-six years when Jesus said he "would destroy it and then restore it in three days." Thirty seven years later after Jesus rose from the dead the great temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed by Roman legions and never rebuilt again.

It wasn't his Father's house which Jesus destroyed but the world's "marketplace" in our hearts and souls where God would meet and walk with us. It wasn't Jesus enemies who destroyed the body of Jesus but Jesus who willed to nail the old Adam on the cross to raise up a New Adam in paradise regained. This is the real church Jesus came to re-build, "like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house". (1 Peter 2:5). The night before Jesus died, he said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit". (John 24:12).

Repentance always requires a dying to oneself and a return to the source of life within our minds and free wills which we share with God. If only God would speak to me, we may wish - while we may fail to see, hear and touch the image of God in the bounty of his work in creation. The order of things around us, multiple galaxies of stars, earth, living things and other lights of our own kind who reveal the wisdom and beauty of creation especially in the "borrowed" creativity of men and women like Beethoven, Renoir and Michelangelo and many others whose works reflect the beauty and Wisdom of their Patron. Through the mysterious exchange within our senses and minds God reveals Who he is who we may choose to see, hear and understand or "see, but do not perceive, and may hear, but not understand." (Mark:4:12).