NOVEMBER 19. Ord Time B. Wk 33. Fri. Lk 19. 45-48
Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’
He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.
On arrival in Jerusalem Christ went straight to the temple; - the place of worship in the city and he immediately drove out traders who were using this sacred space to trade and make money; - “According to scripture my house will be a house of prayer; - but you have turned it into a robber’s den!”
After he had succeeded in clearing the traders out, we are told, “He taught in the temple every day,” so although he was very aware of his coming Passion and Death, he did not cease trying to convert believers as, after making reparation for sin, Christ’s primary goal was saving souls!
As Christians, it is important we remain conscious of these dual aims of Christ while he had while on earth, as they should also be our own primary goals, and admit no other.; - To make atonement for sin, and to save souls!
And Christ has taught us how to do both; - by renouncing our own desires and concerns, and focusing instead on what it is God wants from us; - duties and obligations made known to us via our God-given life circumstances.
We must beware of thinking we are in control of our lives, as that is patently not the case. We did not choose our parents, nor our sex, we did not determine where or when we were born, we did not determine our intelligence, nor the state of our health; - just to name a few areas that were determined by God himself! (‘before I formed you in the womb, I knew you!’ - Jeremiah)
We make a grave error if we do not acknowledge and worship our creator; - the source of our existence; - as what we are proclaiming by acting this way is we see ourselves as "the ones in control” which was the attitude of the Pharisees.
We are then told what happened while Jesus was teaching in the temple; - “The chief priests and scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him; - but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words!”
There is an interesting contrast here, with the chief priests, scribes, and leading citizens wanting to be ride of Christ, while at the same time the people were hanging on his every word, and making it impossible for the community leaders “to do away with him!”
In today’s world this situation continues with many wanting to “do away with Christ” as his teachings are impacting on their preferred “lifestyles”; - but this is where Christians have an important role, in that they have a duty and a presence in the world; - to promote the values of Christ as preserved in the gospels.
We need to become a people “who hang on his every word” as it is proclaimed in the gospel!
Gospel Acclamation Jn10:27
My sheep listen to my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
First reading 1 Maccabees 4:36-37,52-59
Judas and his brothers purify the sanctuary and dedicate it
Judas and his brothers said, ‘Now that our enemies have been defeated, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and dedicate it.’ So they marshalled the whole army, and went up to Mount Zion.
On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, they rose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of holocausts which they had made. The altar was dedicated, to the sound of zithers, harps and cymbals, at the same time of year and on the same day on which the pagans had originally profaned it. The whole people fell prostrate in adoration, praising to the skies him who had made them so successful. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering holocausts, communion sacrifices and thanksgivings. They ornamented the front of the Temple with crowns and bosses of gold, repaired the gates and the storerooms and fitted them with doors. There was no end to the rejoicing among the people, and the reproach of the pagans was lifted from them. Judas, with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel, made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season, for eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month Chislev, with rejoicing and gladness.