Why does Jesus get upset with people in the Temple? They keep missing the point. Christopher Alt, SJ, reflects on the need to keep our focus so that we don’t miss what (or who) is right in front of us. Based on the readings for Sunday, March 7, 2021.
Thou shall not…miss the point!
Hi, I’m Christopher Alt and this is my One-Minute Reflection.
Today’s Gospel is set in the Temple, the place where heaven intersected with earth, and people went to prepare themselves to receive the fullness of God.
But today, Jesus walks in and is horrified. He sees that the Temple, with all its laws, and rituals, and institutional procedures, had become a distraction; the Temple itself had become an idol.
Imagine trying to draw someone’s attention to the moon. You point and point, but all people focus on is your finger. How frustrating would that be? That’s an analogy for why Jesus is so angry.
It’s not that the Temple itself was bad. What’s bad is that people couldn’t look away from it! So they failed to notice the very reality to which the Temple had pointed all along.
Our families and occupations, our culture, our Church, and religious practices. These are all good things. But scripture cautions: if we stubbornly fix our gaze on any of one of these, well, then, we will have missed the point!