Friday of Week 33 in Ordinary Time
“According to scripture,…my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.”
This is one of the rare times that Jesus became angry and visibly displayed his anger. Even then, He did not direct His anger at any one person, and He did not forget to correct the wrongdoing.
Why was Jesus so mad? He had dealt with sinners before, He had been challenged by Pharisees and scribes, yet He never got angry. Even during His passion and subsequent crucifixion, Jesus was not angry, He even prayed and paid for the forgiveness of our sins.
Upon deeper reflection, I arrived at two points worth considering. First is the idea of the Temple. From the first inception to the building of the Temple, scripture has said that is the dwelling place of God. There are two paradoxical viewpoints regarding the dwelling place of God. One is that God ‘needed’ a dwelling place amongst man, that is why He wanted it built. God does not need anything, He is everything. God wanted a Temple built not so that He could dwell in it — God is omniscience, omnipotent and omnipresent, He is all-powerful and is not confined to any space or time. The Temple was built for our sake. In His mercy, God chose to dwell, and can be found, in particular places. He also made Himself visible in the person of Jesus Christ in the consecrated bread on the altar. Therefore, we should be ever reverent when entering the house of God. The flip side of the fact that God is everywhere seems to be an excuse for some to not go to Church, to not pray and to not seek His presence where we can find Him most readily.
Another point worth reflecting is when we are baptized, we become a temple of God where the Holy Spirit dwells. We become children of God, meant for a deep and loving relationship with our Heavenly Father and the Holy Trinity.
Brothers and sisters, when we contemplate on these points, why would we tolerate any desecration, disrespect or destruction of any Temple of God?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to discern what is righteous and what is sinful. Cultivate in us a holy and righteous anger in desiring and defending all that is holy.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Your presence, in the churches, or in the person of Jesus in Blessed Sacrament.