From the Word of the Day
Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace! (John 2: 16)
Today’s Gospel invites us to contemplate the heart of Jesus who desires to pray in the Holy Temple, to meet His Father in prayer for His brothers and sisters. But when He reaches the Temple, He does not find people who are seeking God but rather people who are attending to their own business: merchants selling animals for sacrifice; money changers who exchange impure money with the image of the emperor on it for money approved by the religious authorities to pay the annual temple tax. Jesus’ heart denounces the behavior of those who have transformed worship of God into commerce. Worship has become an excuse for making money. Jesus attacks the central institution of Israel, the Temple, symbol of the people and of their election.
Jesus’ gesture is one of purification. It is a recall to authentic worship, to correspondence between Liturgy and life. It is a reminder that is valid for every epoch and even for us today. Liturgy is not something strange and distant and during which I think of many other things. There is a correspondence between the liturgical celebration and my life. The Council document defines liturgy as the “first and indispensable font from which the faithful can draw for a true Christian spirit”.
The disciple of Jesus goes to Church to meet the Lord and find His grace, the strength to think and act in accord with the Gospel. For this reason, we cannot go in the Lord’s house and cover up with prayers and devotions, behaviors contrary to the demands of justice, of honesty, or of omissions of charity toward others. We cannot substitute religious homage for what is due to our neighbor.
Jesus, I want to pray with You and like You. Inflame my heart so that I can turn to the Father with Your words, Your thoughts, Your sentiments.
The voice of Pope Francis
I pray that this circumstance may revive in all of you love for God’s house. In it, you find great spiritual help. Here you can experience every time you want to, the regenerating power of personal and community prayer. Listening to God’s Word proclaimed in the assembly, sustains you on the journey of your Christian life. In these walls, you meet each other, not as strangers, but as brothers and sisters, able and willing to help each other because you are gathered by love for Christ, foundation of hope and of the commitment of every Christian. Renew the resolution to commit yourself to the purification and the interior cleansing of the Church, the spiritual edifice, of which each of us is a part by power of our Baptism.