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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Zeal for your house will consume me”
Jesus expresses righteous anger to those turning a holy place of worship into a marketplace. Today, some subscribe to the notion that a strong faith is linked to earthly wealth and power. The prosperity gospel exemplifies this notion. Similarly, we brand our religious institutions to accumulate the wealth and power necessary for sustainability. While this is necessary, when does it come at the expense of the values of the one who sent us (Jesus)? When does the “temple” that we are trying to shore up come at the expense of our own temple of the soul?
Jesus preaches to us not to dwell on the earthly things, which are all transitory. He constantly tells us to focus with a humble, loving discerning heart on eternal life through the example of his life, death, and resurrection.
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi is the Acting Assistant Principal of Mission, Ministry, and Diversity at Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado.
Lord my God, when your love spilled over into creation you thought of me. I am from love, of love, for love. Let my heart, O God, always recognize, cherish and enjoy your goodness in all of creation. Direct all that is me toward your praise.
Teach me reverence for every person, all things. Energize me in your service. Lord God, may nothing ever distract me from your love; neither health nor sickness, wealth nor poverty, honor nor dishonor, long life nor short life.
May I never seek nor choose to be other than what you intend or wish.
—St. Ignatius Loyola First Principle & Foundation, trans. Bergan & Schwan, 1985.