From very early on, Christian theologians and spiritual writers made a comparison between Jesus’ cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem and Jesus’ cleansing of our hearts and bodies. St. Paul refers to the body as a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Your self, your body, your whole person is meant to be a temple, a holy place where God dwells and where prayer and union with God is central. It’s a beautiful image: rightly ordered, we become temples of the Holy Spirit.
This image leads to an important question: what goes wrong within the temple of our souls? The same thing that went wrong with the Temple in Jerusalem–what’s meant to be a house of prayer becomes a den of thieves. All kinds of distractions came into the Temple, money changers and corrupt influences, those who turned people away from worshiping God.
Today, we should ask, what distractions and corruptions have come into the temple of my heart and body?
Lent is a terrific time to allow Jesus Christ to make a whip of cords and come into the temple of our hearts, and, while there, to turn some tables over, to flip things upside down if he has to.
What would Jesus chase out of your heart if he had a chance? If you let him in, with all the wonderful fury displayed in the Gospels, what would he cleanse?
“What distractions and corruptions have come into the temple of my heart and body?”
– Father Robert Barron