Cleaning house: Reflections on the Sunday Gospel John 2:13-25 by Father Steven LaBaire

father steven labaireI am pleased to present this guest post from Father Steven LaBaire, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Worcester, MA.

In preparation for mass this Sunday:

“ He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area…spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables…He said, ‘Take these out of here and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.’”  That’s in this Sunday’s Gospel.

Cleaning house

Roger H. Goun Windy day, Flickr Creative Commons
Roger H. Goun Windy day, Flickr Creative Commons

During his life, Jesus’ words and actions “overturned” more than money tables. Jesus “overturned” people’s ideas about God and life, about love and death. He challenged people rid themselves of the “clutter” that gets in the way of living and thriving.

A living temple

Have you ever thought of yourself as a living breathing temple of divine energy and potential? Well, you are!  (That’s the teaching of the Church. It’s rooted in the scriptures.)

Spiritual housecleaning

Morgan Cable Clutter, Flickr Creative Commons
Morgan Cable Clutter, Flickr Creative Commons

What kind of mental “clutter” is holding back your potential? What assumptions and ideas about yourself and life need to be “overturned?”

What are the unnecessary distractions in your life that are keeping you from focusing on what you know in your heart that you really need to focus on?

Let’s face it: sometimes the way we think can be our worst enemy. Some spiritual  “housecleaning” is in order.

Getting angry and then trying to channel  our anger to make constructive changes is one way of going after a more abundant life.

Another, more peaceful (and deliberate) way, is to make good use of the season of Lent.

Reflect on your life daily. How are things going? Be honest with yourself about your relationships, behaviors, and ways of thinking that are getting in the way of you being the person you want to become; the person Christ would want you to become.

Then, seek out people who will help and support you in making changes, especially difficult ones. Spend more time in contexts that encourage you to improve and thrive.

Breathe in, breathe out

As a temple of God’s own Spirit, breathe in a grateful attitude toward what you already have, what you’ve already accomplished. Breathe out the urge to cling and hold on to what is negative or hostile.

You may be surprised at how much more alive you feel for having “overturned” a few habits that may be robbing you of the energy that is God’s gift.

copyright 2015 Steven Michael LaBaire

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