Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up

3rd Sunday in Lent


John’s Gospel, unlike the Synoptic Gospels (i.e. Matthew, Mark and Luke) has the incident of Jesus cleansing the temple (2:13-25) at the beginning of His public ministry – as opposed to near the end, in the Synoptics. The temple, which is a place of worship, has been turned into a marketplace by the people. Does it not ring a bell when we forget that our Churches are places of worship too? It is so easy to want to catch up with our friends, forgetting that others may wish to pray and meditate. Our transgressions may not be as bad as what happened in the temple, but it is good to be reminded that in our Churches, we stand on Holy ground.

St John, in his Gospel, present Jesus as a meeting place between God and humankind. “Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up” said Jesus. Christ is the sanctuary, the temple, the Word of God, who has pitched His tent among us. This is essentially the meaning of the word ‘tabernacle” – i.e tent or dwelling place (of God amongst us). That’s why we stand on Holy Ground in our churches.

I suspect it is the believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that the age old tradition of “paying a visit” to Our Churches (where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Tabernacle) developed. At OLV, the Church is often open till late so that people can pay a visit, even if it is for a brief moment, to have a quiet time and be the Presence of God. We encounter God in His Eucharistic Presence in our Churches, We encounter God in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and in the Blessed Sacrament that is reserved in the tabernacle.

Glory and Praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Fr Michael

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