*** 1st Reading ***

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The man brought me

Back to the entrance of the Temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the Temple and flowing eastwards. The Temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the Tem­­ple, from the south side of the altar.  

 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing the east and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.

He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome.   Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful and the sea water will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound.

  Near the river on both banks there will be all kinds of fruit trees with foliage that will not wither and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop because the water comes from the Temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.

 

Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

 

*** 2nd Reading ***

1Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

 We are fellow-workers with God, but you are God’s field and building.

 I, as a good architect, according to the capacity given to me, I laid the foundation, and another is to build upon it. Each one must be careful how to build upon it. No one can lay a foundation other than the one which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Do you not know that you are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit abides within you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him. God’s tem­ple is holy, and you are this tem­ple.

 

**** Gospel ****  

John 2:13-22

 As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep.

He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people sell­ing doves, “Take all this away and stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

 His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your House devours me as a fire.  The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 

The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”  Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

 

Gospel Reflection

  This is the first time we see Jesus engage in aggressive behavior. He made a whip out of cords and drove merchants and money changers out of their stall. Some scholars suggest that Jesus’ action is a prophetic singn of the Temple’s imminent destruction.

Jeremiah predicted accurately in 587 B.C. the first destruction of the Temple. For him, it had become “a den of robbers”(Jer 7:11)and unworthy of God. Jesus in today’s gospel sees the situation of Jeremiah’s time repeating itself in the corrupt Temple aristocracy of His time.

Unfortunately, he was just as accurate as Jeremiah in predicting the Temple’s eventual demise: it was destroyed a second time by the Romans in 70 AD, this time never to be re-built.

The stone edifice where the God of Israel was worshipped may have been demolished several hundred years age, yet His worship continues. With Jesus, a new people is established gathered in the word and the one bread that Jesus left behind as a memorial of God’s love for the world.