Father Steven Reilly, LC
John 2: 13-22
The Passover of the
Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep,
and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
Making a whip of cords, he drove all of
them out of the temple, both the sheep and the
cattle. He also poured out the coins of the
money changers and overturned their tables. He told those
who were selling the doves, "Take these things out
of here! Stop making my Father´s house a marketplace!" His
disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your
house will consume me." The Jews then said to
him, "What sign can you show us for doing
this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three
days I will raise it up." The Jews then
said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six
years, and will you raise it up in three days?"
But he was speaking of the temple of his
body. After he was raised from the dead, his
disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed
the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are
here with me, and I hope in your boundless mercy
and love. Thank you for watching over me and
keeping me in your friendship. Thank you for the
precious gift of our Mother, the Church.
Lord, increase my zeal!
1. The Indestructible Temple: Today
we celebrate the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica,
known as the “mother and head of all the churches.”
Going to Rome and visiting this wonderful church, now
some seventeen centuries old, one gets a sense of
the durability of Catholicism. The Catholic Church has been around
for a long time, and it will be around
for a lot longer — until judgment day, to be
exact. No matter how hard the world has tried,
it hasn’t been able to destroy the temple of
the Church. This should give us a deep confidence that
the Lord is with us as we journey through
2. Purification: Being indestructible doesn’t mean, however, that the
Catholic Church does not need constant purification. When our
Lord arrived to the temple in Jerusalem, he found
many things that marred the spirit of prayer and devotion
that was to characterize that sacred building. His vigorous
reaction serves to underline the high vocation of holiness
that God had given to the Chosen People. We
Catholics have inherited that call; yet all too often, the
ways of the world creep into our souls. Each
one of us needs to submit to the Lord’s
purification. He will challenge us in our conscience, and sometimes
that will sting like the whip of cords. But
if we are sincere in our desires, we accept
this with humility, aware that our souls must be living
temples of God’s presence.
3. Consuming Zeal: When the
apostles contemplated our Lord’s action in the temple, “zeal” was
the word that summed it all up. Jesus is
zealous because he doesn’t accept the status quo of
entrenched mediocrity. The day he arrives it is no longer
business as usual: His Father’s house WILL be respected.
Too often we let the barnacles of laziness and
the accretions of apathy weigh down and extinguish our zeal.
Every day we must pray that the Lord will
once again “enkindle in our hearts the fire of
his love.” Our zeal in living the faith is part
of the way God works to make this temple
of his Church indestructible. Don’t we want to cooperate with
his love, so that the “gates of hell will
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I love
your Church. I thank you for the priceless gift of
my Catholic faith. Protect the Church from all her
enemies and help me to be an effective apostle
filled with authentic zeal.
Resolution: I will offer
myself to collaborate in a parish ministry or other Catholic
apostolate out of love for the Church.