1. Introductory prayer
I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…
2. Reading – Listening: – Zeal for your house will consume me – John 2:13-25 – Meaning and Commentary
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[b] 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Zeal for your house will consume me – John 2:13-25 – Meaning and Commentary
Jesus ’cleansing of the temple was seen by his disciples as a prophetic sign of the cleansing and restoration of true worship among the Jewish people. The temple was understood as the abode of God among his people. When God rescued the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, He led them safely through the Red Sea and brought them before Mount Sinai.
There He made a covenant with them and gave them a new way of life in the goodness and holiness guaranteed by the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 1-17). God also instructed Moses on how to honor his people in holiness and commanded them to make a “tabernacle of assembly.” They gathered in it to sacrifice and worship God. The eastern tent later replaced the temple in Jerusalem. The Bible of the New Testament tells us that this is only a parable of the true temple of God in heaven (Heb 8: 5).
Jesus ’cleansing of the temple is also a prophetic sign of what He wants to do in each of us. He wants to cleanse us from our sins so that we can be a living temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). God wants us to be as holy as He is holy.
When Jesus came to Jerusalem during the Passover, he shocked the Jewish leaders by forcibly expelling money changers and merchants from the temple. He accused them of turning the temple, which for him was his Father’s house, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market” (Jn 2:16) and “‘a den of robbers” (Mk 11:17).
Malachi foretold this unexpected coming of the Lord to his temple: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.” (Mal 3: 3). Jesus’ disciples remembered the prophetic words of Psalm 69:10: “Zeal for your house will consume me” They understood these words as a messianic prophecy and saw Jesus as the Messiah who burned for the house of God.
The Jewish authorities wanted Jesus to prove to them his divine authority and that his conduct was right, divine. They demanded a sign from God to prove that Jesus was right, otherwise, they would have treated him as a deceiver. Jesus, however, speaks of himself as a true temple that cleanses us and makes us a holy people among whom God dwells.
The sign Jesus promises is his death on the cross and his resurrection on the third day: “Takedown this temple, and in three days I will build it.” The Jews did not understand that the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. First, the “tent of his body” had to be destroyed so that the way to his heavenly sanctuary could be opened to us (Heb. 10:19).
By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ reconciled us to God and reborn us into sons and daughters of Heavenly Father. He filled us with His Holy Spirit and made us the living temple of our God (1 Cor 6: 19-20; 2 Cor 6:16). We are invited to accept this gift in faith, to be aware of the presence of God in us and the gift and operation of his Holy Spirit.
Lent is a time when Jesus wants to renew us and purify our hearts so that we can radiate the presence of God through the Holy Spirit and reveal it through our lives and actions. We ask Him to fill us with holy desire and ardent zeal for Him and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, for only in this way will He be able to transform our way of thinking, acting, and living to be in harmony with Jesus Christ.
4. Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- If Jesus undertakes to cleanse my heart, for whom or what could I create space?
- What keeps the cover in my heart? What is rubbish in my heart – concrete? Together with Jesus, we look at the corners of my heart, under and on the shelves, behind books, in closets, in and on closets, even the highest and deepest, to find what does not belong in the heart. I am careful to do this with a loving Jesus look at me.
- I thank God for everything that brings the fullness of life into my heart.
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).
8. Prayer at the end
Thank you, Lord, for looking with all zeal for ways to restore to me the splendor of the dignity of sonship/daughterhood, and for building in me a temple that no one can tear down. Thank you for the foundation of faith you are laying anew in my life. Thank you for your life, suffering, death on the cross, and resurrection. Thank you for thus cleansing me of all sins and freeing me to live in the freedom of a child of God.
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others, and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si
Text from the Bible – New International Version (KJV)