This third Sunday of Lent marks the halfway point of our Lenten Season. It’s not a bad time to ask ourselves, “How have we been going this Lent?”.
There is a saying that “penance should not only be inward and individual, but also outward and social”.
Hence, it is certainly time to ask what sort of personal changes are we making, but also what are we doing to make our own little corner of the world a bit more fair, just and honest. What social changes are we bringing about?
One of the false images we have about the early Jesus is a man who was always in control of his emotions. A person who was always gentle, kindly and tolerant. Yet today, in the second chapter of the Gospel according to John we meet the angry Jesus. He is in the temple and he is overturning tables and abusing the money changers and the animal traders.
He arrives in the great temple of Jerusalem, probably for the first time, expecting to have a sense of the sacred. Instead he witnesses corruption, dishonesty and injustice. In a moment of outrage he acts, probably in disgust at what he sees. Most importantly he acts because he wants to change the unfairness, injustice and dishonesty that he is witnessing in a place where fairness, justice and honesty should prevail.
There is a Lenten message for us in this amazing story in the second chapter of St John’s gospel. Lent for us should be a time when we do much more than make personal changes in our own lives. We are also invited to make our own little corner of the world a bit fairer, just and honest. Of course, challenging and hard as it is sometimes, this may involve real social action.