Reading: When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’]; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ Luke 19: 45-46.
Good morning, happy Friday, and many blessings my dear family.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 19:45-48) is extremely short: only 4 verses. Yet it opens with a somewhat violent scene: Jesus has taken a whip and is driving the moneychangers out of the temple area! This is not a Jesus we “see” very often! On this day, Jesus was extremely angry that this hallowed, holy temple was being used for commerce, for the making of money. This sacred temple was being defiled! Jesus was so angry he took a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
It can be easy to take sacred and safe places, such as a Church, for granted. At times, we may even forget that we are in a holy and sacred space. The next time you are in your church, I invite you to sit quietly for a few minutes. Notice the peace, the sacredness of this blessed space. Experience the presence of God in this holy place! Experience the presence of God in the people who are with you and around you!
For Jesus, the harshest criticism was reserved for the religious leaders. For Jesus, the reality of the love his Father/Mother had for Him colored everything in His life. He was saddened and outraged by the distorting of this image of God by some of the religious leaders. How could people who were dedicated to the observance of God’s law get it so wrong? Our Church is a church of sinners, for sinners and by sinners. And we are greatly, greatly loved by God!
As human beings, we all need sacred spaces, be that a church, a forest, the ocean, the mountains, a small lake or your own backyard. When we recognize the “sacred,” we know deep within us that God is there with us. Every moment of our day is sacred — if we perceive it that way! God is always with us!
The Church, in its communities and through individuals, is called on to continue that mission of counter-witness. This will lead to both support and hostility. This is something we should not at all be surprised at nor something we should try to avoid. Our only concern must be always to speak the truth in love. God will take care of the rest. Because, ultimately, truth, love and justice will prevail.
What Jesus is objecting to is corruption of the sacred. My body and my soul are a temple of God and belong to God. Is this temple of his a sacred space, a house of prayer? Or is it given over to the false gods of money and greed?