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St Clare�s Abbey Primary School, Newry

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Newry Parish Bulletin

Newry Parish Bulletin 3/3/24

Dear Parishioner,

It is tough at times to figure out who has authority on certain issues.  There are ‘experts’ everywhere, telling us how we should eat, exercise, manage our finances… the list goes on.  We hear from doctors, virologists, politicians and economists, and their opinions don’t always align,  It can take us a while to trust the voices we hear in the media.

The temple scene in the Gospel this weekend sparks a debate about Jesus’ authority.  While he certainly cuts an authoritative figure as He drives out the stallholders and moneychangers, He is immediately questioned.  The Jews demand a sign to explain His provocative words and actions, as if to say, ‘Who do you think you are?’  It is interesting to note that in John’s Gospel, this scene takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (unlike the Synoptic Gospels where it comes towards the end).  This would explain the disbelief of the witnesses.

In calling the Temple ‘my Father’s House’ Jesus identifies the source of His authority.  But His interrogators do not understand, nor do His disciples. Though we are told it later makes sense to them after the resurrection.  This scene offers more than an angry Jesus and a clueless audience.  It is a public revelation of Jesus’ identity and authority, as the one in whom God’s presence dwells.  It also emphasises the radical new way of living that Jesus has come to bring about.  As we journey through Lent, we ask ourselves where the message of Jesus has become obstructed in our lives, and how we might open our hearts again to His presence and guidance.

God Bless

Canon Francis Brown

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