3rd Sunday of Lent Year B - 11/3/2012 - Gospel: Jn 2, 13-25
We are very much concerned about physical hygienic and sanitary which is the right thing to do because it is the good way to stop spreading germs and diseases. Otherwise our health would suffer and make others worry.  We enjoy the food or drink more when a place looks clean, tidy and presentable. We feel safe and have less concern about sickness caused by consuming poisonous food or drink. Some people need to take extra precautions when it comes to food because their body is allergic to a certain kinds of food; otherwise their day turns from happy to disaster.

There is another kind of dirtiness, the un-holiness of life that causes alarm by the Church teaching and that is the spiritual dirtiness. It comes from within, disguised in various ways and undetectable from observation.  It appears in both verbal and body language. When you hear a sudden burst of laughing from a group of friends you are pretty sure that someone has revealed his/her inner unusual thoughts. Surprisingly most dirty jokes relate to a part or parts of our physical body while spiritual dirtiness relates to our mind and heart and that is the driving force influences our behaviour. People of this world regard dirty jokes as a form of entertainment, harmless and acceptable.  People of God try to avoid these occasions that do not give honour to God and direct their mind to give thanks to God. A mind that is filled with evil thoughts will eventually lead to worship an immortal god.
Jesus explains that,

What is comes out of a person that makes him unclean.... for from a person's heart, come the evil ideas which lead him to do immoral things.  Mk 7, 21

Misbehaving is harmful for the society and it is worse when misbehaving happens in the place of worship, and that made Jesus reacted violently when he made a whip out of some cord driving traders out of the temple. He knocked over their tables and scattered the money changers. He told the pigeon sellers to take them out of the temple. He was gentle with the pigeon sellers because pigeon buyers are poor people. They try to fulfil their obligation that is to offer their sacrifice.

The cleansing of the temple puts Jesus at odds with the Jewish leaders when they confronted him with the question,
What sign can you show us to justify what you have done? v.18

The sign is very clear, in destroying their market in the temple, Jesus predicted that they would not let go but respond with vengeance and evil thoughts. They would find excuses to destroy him, no matter what. Jesus prophesised, Jewish leaders would destroy him but he used the image of the temple to symbolize his own body. The Jewish leaders failed to understand the image. They failed to understand that in three days Jesus will reappear again in a better form, a glorious form, brighter. The saying was hidden from their eyes. The disciples of Jesus misunderstood at the time but they came to understand after his resurrection.
Pondering the words of Jesus in our hearts is a good thing because it makes the words of Jesus alive in our hearts and slowly reveals the meaning of the teaching of Jesus and makes the words relevant in our daily living.