Jesus Fashioned a Whip of Cords

Third Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Exodus 20:1-17
Responsorial Psalm: 19:8, 9, 10, 11
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Gospel: John 2:13-25

3rd Sunday of Lent Reflection
The episode of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple is narrated by all four gospels. But only the version of John says that Jesus fashioned a whip of cords to drive them out. The image of a whip of cords connotes pain, it connotes torture and even brutality. But the presence of this instrument in the hands of Jesus illustrates in a powerful way His teaching about the true nature of worship of the Father. True worship lies in a sincere and contrite heart. God loves a sinner who repents and converts.
At times we wonder why conversion or change is difficult. Lent is characterized by the practices of penance, charity and prayer. We can fall into the illusion that the mere observance of these Lenten practices will automatically produce change and conversion. Perhaps the whip of cords would remind us, not so much of the torture but of the fact that a certain pain or sacrifice is needed for real conversion to happen.
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