NOTES FORM LINDA ARNOLD
A number of years ago a very creative
catechist prepared a Lenten project for her
group of young people. They created a
Lenten wreath - a grapevine wreath, quite
stark, with a symbol to focus their journey for
each week of Lent. One of the
symbols was a small broom.
During Lent we “spring clean” in a way. We
get rid of clutter and extras that might distract
us from the task before us - putting our
relationship with God in clear perspective.
Today’s Gospel is about the same thing. For the Jewish
people, the Temple was the presence of God with them.
The Ark of the Covenant held the Ten Commandments they
had carried with them from the desert... The Commandments.
were the covenant or sacred promise between God and
God’s people. I will be your God and you will be my
people. The people came to temple, especially before
Passover, to offer sacrifice and to pray and honor this
relationship. Over time, many extras were added - for
convenience and for profit. They could change their money
to Temple money, buy animals to be sacrificed and so on.
While the intention to honor God and
their covenant with God was sincere,
much was happening that made it more
difficult to see and experience this
special relationship with God. Jesus came
in to the area with his “Lenten broom” to
spring clean! He threw the money
changers out, and took away the extras
so the relationship between God and the
people was primary. Our fast-paced
lives can hinder or hide our relationship with God. So we,
like Jesus, take out our brooms and clean out the extras to
make room for the essentials - living as God’s people,
making time for prayer - talking to God, but also listening
to God. What does God see in my heart? Plant in my
heart? Who had God given for me to journey in faith
with? What housecleaning do you need to do in your life?
What housecleaning do we need to set relationships right
in our church? In our world?