Looking for a Sign


He had overcome the temptations   
in their and our world.  
He had shown 
in himself the brightness  
of real human possibilities,   
the possibility of a change, 
the possibility of a makeover,   
the possibility of a new human life.

That morning he entered the Temple, 
the center of their old religious life, 
a temple of stones,  
of gold and silver,  
a temple of sacrificed animals, 
of dying bulls, of butchered pigeons,  
a temple against which  
in the name of God                                                            

 The Lord says:  
Do you think I like all those sacrifices  
you keep offering to me?  
I am tired of the blood of bulls and   
sheep and goats.  
No matter how much you pray,  
I will not listen, 
for your hands are covered with blood.  
Wash yourselves clean.  
Stop doing evil   
and learn to do right.  
See that justice is done,  
help the oppressed.  
Care for the orphans and the widows.

That is what he did!  
It was that morning  
not only a question  
of chasing bankers and merchants away; 
it was not only a question 
of letting those animals and birds loose. 
hat he did went much deeper.  
What he did was to  
stop a temple-service  
that had outlived its aim  
and that was no longer faithful   
to its vocation.

The onlookers asked:  
What sign can you show us  
authorizing you to do these things.  

He did not give them the sign they asked for.  
He had given them that sign already:  
the new temple had been announced:  
the one in which God is with  
the orphans and the widows,  
with the sinners and the sick,  
forming through Christ one body, 

God’s temple with us.

[adapted from Joseph Donders – Beyond Jesus, p.92-95]