What's the Point of Christianity?

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday March 3, 2024

As the Season of Lent marches on, pay attention to the Scripture Readings at Mass. The drama is intensifying. In the Gospel passage, we find Jesus in the Temple area in the famous scene with the Lord, confronting the “money changers seated there.” Oftentimes when we think of Jesus, we see as meek, humble and kind, which he is. However, so few people imagine this Jesus in the Gospel. He is furious. Angry. In some ways, he is violent. He flips the tables of these money changers and chases them out. In John’s account of this incident, he points out that Jesus even made a whip out of cords and used it to scare them off. From this moment on, the Jewish leaders had enough. They will set in motion a dastardly plot to have Jesus murdered. How can we reconcile this temperament of Jesus with the one that is commonly shared by so many? We must first understand who God is. Remember, God is love. He loves us with an unimaginable passion. Love by definition, hates anything that hurts the beloved. Whatever hurts us, God despises, just as a parent hate that which causes their child pain. Sin destroys us from within. Our Heavenly Father sends his Son Jesus to rectify this sorry condition. The whole point of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was to bring humanity back into relationship with God but the money changers had instead turned it into “a den of thieves.” It became a place of profit and greed, rather than an encounter with divine love. Christ sees this, and comes to set things right.