Saturday is my chore day. It’s the day I can do all the things I don’t have time to do during the week, like cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, and mopping the floors. Saturday is also the day my husband and I can work on big projects together; cleaning out closets, getting the window AC units back into the attic, fixing that drawer in the kitchen that keeps breaking. I don’t really like spending my Saturdays doing chores; I try keep things tidy during the week. But we’re so busy and life is so chaotic that despite my best efforts there always seems to be a layer of baby food caked onto the kitchen floor, toothpaste all over the bathroom sink and mirror, and at least four loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded. I need that day of deep cleaning, or we end up living in squalor! But all the work is worth it because Saturday evenings my house is clean and my soul is at peace.
But what about God’s house?
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? . . . God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Co. 3:16-17)
Each Sunday we receive the very Body and Blood of our Lord into our bodies. In that moment we each become a tabernacle, a dwelling place for Jesus Christ. This is a serious and amazing thing! Are we prepared for it? Are we keeping that dwelling place clean and presentable for the Lord? Life happens and temptation is real, and despite our best efforts our souls get weighed down in sin and filled up with crud, and we need a deep cleaning. The good news for us is that Jesus gave us a very tangible way to do that: the sacrament of reconciliation.
Don’t let fear keep you from the confessional. We see the holy anger with which Jesus cleansed the temple in today’s Gospel. It is no small matter to profane what should be kept holy. But we have to remember that when we come to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation He isn’t ever angry with us. He is only merciful and loving, desiring nothing more than to make us holy again.
photo credit bottom: Madeline Hill