Father John Doyle, LC
Then Jesus entered the Temple
area and proceeded to drive out those who were
selling things, saying to them, "It is written, ´My
house shall be a house of prayer, but you have
made it a den of thieves.´" 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, but they
could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all
the people were hanging on his words.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the
Omega. You have given me life and offer me
eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and
love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me.
Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I
can offer myself to you. All that I have is
yours; I return it to you.
God, teach me greater reverence for your house.
for the Father’s House: Jesus was not an enemy
of commerce. In fact, many times the Gospel makes
references to buying and selling without any negative connotations
at all. However, in today’s Gospel passage we find Our
Lord irate for two principal reasons. First, business activity
was taking place within the Temple area. This was,
in a sense, a “profanation” of God’s house. The Temple
of Jerusalem contained, veiled behind a massive curtain, the
Holy of Holies, where God’s mysterious presence dwelled. Yet,
paradoxically, Temple worshipers had first to cross what had
the appearance of a marketplace to be able to worship
before the Lord. Second, Jesus was indignant due to
the fact that the temple merchants were dishonest. Am
I always honest in my business dealings? Do I always
respect God’s name and the things of God?
to Reverence: Jesus was on fire with zeal for the
house of his Father and determined that it be
respected as a house of prayer. Silence, worship and
prayer are elements that should be an essential part of
every visit to a church, especially for Sunday Mass.
In the tabernacle of every Catholic Church, Our Lord
is present in the Eucharist as a prisoner of love
waiting to enter into dialogue with us. We are
never closer to heaven than when we are before
Our Eucharistic Lord. Yet we can forget this truth. Our
postures, chatter, and dress might contribute to a general
“profanation” of God’s house. Do I try to remember
every time I enter a church that I am standing
before my Lord who made heaven and earth? Can
others see that I believe Jesus is really present in
the Eucharist? Is he the center of my attention?
Can I put aside all distractions?
3. Hanging on Jesus’
Words: The crowds are described as “hanging” on Jesus’
every word. Jesus showed a reverence for his Father’s house
far greater than any external piety the Pharisees demonstrated.
He spoke the truth and was never afraid to
stand up for it, even when it was less than
convenient to do so. He was unafraid of those
who “were seeking to put him to death.” Jesus’
uprightness was the key to his effectiveness and the attractive
power of his words. As Christians we are called
by vocation to imitate the uprightness of Our Lord
in our words and actions.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, many times I have entered Church distractedly and forgotten
that you were present. I beg your forgiveness. I
ask to be a zealous witness of your love,
and I promise to show you greater reverence in the
Resolution: I will live the Mass
this Sunday with a special reverence.