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November 09, 2020

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Jn 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.

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 consumed me

The Jesus we encounter in today’s Gospel is not the compassionate, caring figure we typically see throughout the four Gospel accounts.  He is really angry, to the point that he drives out the animals for sale in the Jewish Temple precincts with a whip, overturns the tables of the money changers, and yells at those engaged in these sales.  What was going on?

The Jewish tradition of making ritual sacrifices to the Lord required most believers in this agricultural economy to exchange those animals they could afford to offer for actual money, with financial bartering involving those with more elaborate gifts such as livestock and those who could only afford doves.  Scripture scholars suggest that the practice had become corrupting both for those involved and the Jewish authorities.  In fact, it may have been this final challenge from Jesus that convinced those authorities that he had gone too far, and that he should be arrested and killed.  As his followers recalled, “Zeal for your house consumed me”!

So what issues or causes fill us with zeal and even anger, as Jesus exhibited?  In the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius asks us to consider where we stand—in a modern rendering, “Where and with whom is my heart”?  We are also invited to listen to the “Call of the King,” those stirrings and deepest desires from our loving God that lead us to act on behalf of justice, of compassion, and of care for our world—the places where Jesus stands.

Our nation and the world right now seem consumed with anger, fear, and so much suffering.  “Where and with whom is your heart?”  When you open yourself up to God, where are you feeling drawn?  Where is the best place to stand with Jesus?

Tom Reynolds is the Higher Education Assistant for the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province.

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, we recognize your anger with those who twisted your message for their own gain.  Help us to make time for prayer so that we may be open to hearing your words and acting on them as you would have us act.  May we always be working toward building your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team


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November 09, 2020

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Jn 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.

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 consumed me

The Jesus we encounter in today’s Gospel is not the compassionate, caring figure we typically see throughout the four Gospel accounts.  He is really angry, to the point that he drives out the animals for sale in the Jewish Temple precincts with a whip, overturns the tables of the money changers, and yells at those engaged in these sales.  What was going on?

The Jewish tradition of making ritual sacrifices to the Lord required most believers in this agricultural economy to exchange those animals they could afford to offer for actual money, with financial bartering involving those with more elaborate gifts such as livestock and those who could only afford doves.  Scripture scholars suggest that the practice had become corrupting both for those involved and the Jewish authorities.  In fact, it may have been this final challenge from Jesus that convinced those authorities that he had gone too far, and that he should be arrested and killed.  As his followers recalled, “Zeal for your house consumed me”!

So what issues or causes fill us with zeal and even anger, as Jesus exhibited?  In the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius asks us to consider where we stand—in a modern rendering, “Where and with whom is my heart”?  We are also invited to listen to the “Call of the King,” those stirrings and deepest desires from our loving God that lead us to act on behalf of justice, of compassion, and of care for our world—the places where Jesus stands.

Our nation and the world right now seem consumed with anger, fear, and so much suffering.  “Where and with whom is your heart?”  When you open yourself up to God, where are you feeling drawn?  Where is the best place to stand with Jesus?

Tom Reynolds is the Higher Education Assistant for the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province.

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, we recognize your anger with those who twisted your message for their own gain.  Help us to make time for prayer so that we may be open to hearing your words and acting on them as you would have us act.  May we always be working toward building your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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