Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jesus and 'the Temple'

Today I read from John’s gospel about Jesus going to the Jerusalem temple (John.2) and His actions there. When the Jews demanded an explanation for His authority to do such a thing Jesus talked about His body. This made me think about my body, the hardware that keeps and protects the software!
When the sense of holiness is removed, the temple is another structure, however beautiful and appealing it may look. Its stone, timber, a bit of gold and silver for decoration and fabric for covering. We can marvel at the time and investment put into it and feel very proud of the structure. Jesus walked into this set up and saw it as a place to rob people and to hide from reality. He saw a profit driven industry specialized in lies. The place became a stinker. Instead of the aroma of the incense, it was filled with the smell of animal waste.
He demonstrated radical cleansing! And this was not appreciated and this sealed His destiny.
He talked about His Body in this context. Yes the body you and I have- the flesh and blood that walks and talks –the mind that thinks and the heart that feels. The physical temple only represented the real temple - you and I. Jesus saw it as a house of prayer - open to all and for all. My body is the sacred sanctuary where worship and intercession for humanity should find its home. Even though this body is subject to decay, one day it will be resurrected and transformed. It is not a cheap biological tool to rob people off their dignity, worth and energy.
It’s the abode of the Holy Spirit and its where Jesus and Father are waiting to come and make their home. It is where the triune God finds intimate communion with me –a place of Peace, Joy and Love.
Now what does Jesus find as He makes His way to this temple, this body?
Animal life?         
A life full of meaningless exis
A life lived at the level of instincts- at the sensual level.
A life in the dirt.
Materialistic life?
All talk is about money and more money.
All concerns are about what can be bought, what profit can be made
What investments to make             
How to avoid tax, how to multiply, what is new to spend money on…..            
A life constantly seeking for sure security, power, prestige and pleasure.
A life busy with covering up fears and purposelessness.
What do I feed my body with at all levels?
What do I take in and what comes out?
When God is no more a reality or the Passover loses its meaning, life in the body becomes a burden and aloneness becomes restlessness.
The emptiness of a prayer less life is filled with noise and clutter.
The golden calf and the goddess Lakhmi replace the living God.
Preoccupation with the external at the cost of the internal leads to alienation-a divided house
Jesus has nothing to do with this misuse.
He whips it out-no compromise. He over turns the money world and chases the animal world-- to where it should belong-Out side!
All short cuts to convenience and easy life need to be faced with ruthless honesty.
The Body is not a place to hide from the inner and outer realities of evil.
The purity and the holiness of the temple-my body- needs to be maintained for the purpose for which its made-communion with God.
What a challenge to live an uncontaminated life
Out of this understanding alone flows my vision of the other bodies around.
It can only come if there is a zeal for God’s view of life in this body.

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