The mass ends with this command, “Go and preach the Good News with the life you live”. We have great influence on the people around us especially those who have won our trust. It is for these people, few or plenty, that we are commanded to go and influence their lifestyles with the way of the Good News through our beliefs and action.
Most of us in reality live two lifestyles; part of us faithfully track the Good News while the other part struggle with surrendering everything to God. But this is a result of our human nature and the very reason why the Church exist for us. The Church lives in us and we are in union when we completely trust God but there are parts of us living outside the Church when we are unable, or choose not, to trust completely in the Good News.
Which part of us dominates our lifestyle? How are we influencing the people around us? What ideas do we sell them through our opinions and actions? What are we selling outside the Church?
Today’s Gospel, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money-changers’ coins, knocked their tables over”.
The secular world has become a bigger distraction to our faith life – the part of us that lives in the Church. It is a great temptation to come out. The increasingly material world with progressively shorter term fixes tell us that God has become old fashioned. He is perhaps even more old-fashioned when we are tempted towards embracing more liberal lifestyles contrary to the values of the Good News. The biggest reason for falling into these temptations is that we have lost trust in God.
Who are we outside of mass? Who are we outside of Church? Who are we in the secular world? What do we sell on our own tables of plenty?
When our lifestyle does not preach trust in God then we are directly opposed to the first commandment that is given to us to guide us through life. “You shall have no gods except me. You shall not bow down to them or serve them”. Materialism and liberal lifestyles are such gods. Labelling God old-fashioned elevate our self above Him.
There are many other parts of how we live life that we promote on our tables of plenty. Pride and our competitive edge often lead us to bear false witness and kill the reputation of others through our unmerciful tongues. Disrespect of the sanctity of marriage open the doors of liberalism that takes away the guilt of adultery. We steal peace and happiness when we exclude or are prejudice towards others in our life. We feed into the fire of jealousy when we continue to covet what someone else have.
Today Jesus is angry. He makes a whip out of some cord. But he does not lash out at us. Instead he lashes out to destroy what we are promoting and selling. All of us are preserved from this destruction. He only overturned our tables promoting a lifestyle away from the Good News.
As for us we are preserved so that we preach the Gospel with the life we live. We are salesmen of the Good News. We sell Christ.
Third Sunday of Lent