READINGS for 2007-11-23
DRIVING OUT THE MERCHANT
Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out the merchants. – Luke 19:45
As renewed Christians, we must always follow God’s will.
That’s easier said than done.
We almost always follow what we want when we decide.
There is a merchant within us. We always bargain with God. We haggle, “Please God, I’ll be a good girl. Just give me what I want.”
We ask for a sign, “If he gives me white roses, I will believe in you, God.” We will only obey His will through compromise. If we deem it fit into our liking, we will love God. If He doesn’t bend to our wishes, we would hate him. We don’t want to go beyond our comfort zones unlike Jesus when He prayed, “Father, take away this cup of suffering but if it is your will, thy will be done.”
Today, let Jesus drive out the merchant within us so we will be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And follow Him no matter what. RosAnn J.
Do you allow Jesus to drive what is unpleasant?
Drive all that is not holy in me. Let only Your Spirit live.
1 Maccabees 4:36-37.52-59
Judas Maccabeus has some success in his military battles against the remnants of their Greek oppressors. However, it will be a short-lived victory as it will not be long before the Roman Legions descend upon the area and assert their superiority and control. The land that Israel occupies is an important land corridor for commerce and trade. It is thus highly prized by empire builders. This is unfortunate for the Jews who were seldom very strong from a military point of view.
36 Judas and his brothers said, “Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.” 37 So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion. 52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, that is, the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, 53 they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law on the new altar of holocausts that they had made. 54 On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was re-consecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. 55 All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. 56 For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. 57 They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers and furnished them with doors. 58 There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. 59 Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.
P S A L M
1 Chronicles 29:10, 11, 11-12, 12
R: We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
10 Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. (R) 11 Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory. For all in heaven and on earth is yours. (R) Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Riches and honor are from you. (R) You have dominion over all. In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is appalled at the treatment that is being given to the Temple. It is supposed to be a place of worship and sacrifice; a fitting place for the presence of God to dwell. It has become a commercial market – a scandal and a place full of extortion and thievery. He sets out to drive the sellers and buyers from its precincts. I do not know, but probably they will all return tomorrow when Jesus is gone. This is the way the dynamic of sin seems to work in our lives, does it not?
45 Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’” 47 And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, 48 but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
think: In what ways can you disrespect the Church building that you worship in?
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Acts 16-18
JESUS ENTERS THE TEMPLE –A STORY OF A DIVINE COUP
While other events in the life of Jesus were treated with so much detailing by St. Luke, it is quite strange that the story of the cleansing of the temple seemed have been abbreviated by the evangelist. Probably, Luke would not like that we miss out what is, for him, a most important detail. That is, after a long trek from Galilee (starting from Luke 10)… “Then Jesus entered the temple area.”
The entrance of Jesus into the Temple is not a mere statement of fact.
It is a theological statement. The Gospel of Luke started out its narration in the Temple: Zechariah making an offering and receiving the angelic revelation that he would have a son. The infancy story about Jesus in the Gospel also has it that Jesus was presented in the Temple. Later, the Gospel recounts, Jesus at twelve years old was left at the Temple precincts for several days. Upon being found by Joseph and Mary, Jesus told them –– “… Don’t you know I have to be in my father’s house?”
Now… coming to the culmination of his earthly mission, Jesus takes possession of the temple. The prophecy of Malachi, the last of the writing prophets, has it: “Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek…” (Mal 3:1).
The temple is a central landmark in the story of Luke about Jesus. His Gospel narration started out with the annunciation of John the Baptizer’s birth at the temple, and it ended with the return of the eleven disciples into the temple after the Ascension. The temple, for Israel, represented the climax of a long history of God’s presence among the chosen people. Jesus’ act of entering into, and cleaning of the temple brings the Divine presence to its fullness. Fr. Domie, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do we take the presence of God among us? Can we allow the Lord to challenge us? Can we easily and candidly open wide the doors of our hearts… and welcome God’s intervention and cleansing? God’s intervention is always costly. God is truth. We cannot hide anything from him. For him, night is as clear as day.
Prayer: Enter the temple of my heart, Lord.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, priest, pray for us.
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