Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
When I was a girl, I remember hearing that the scene in today’s gospel was the only time Jesus openly displayed anger and I remember thinking that whatever was going on in the temple that day must have been pretty awful. Today when I reflect on this passage, I wonder if Jesus was more upset by what was happening in the temple or by what wasn’t happening: Was it the consumerist craze that had engulfed the temple or the obvious absence of prayer that disturbed him the most?
As we enter the week of Thanksgiving and I start shopping for the family feast and potential Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, I see real parallels with today’s gospel passage. Just as was the case in the temple that day, consumerism is everywhere, luring us to buy faster, newer and better stuff yet, at the same time, Jesus invited us (even shouts at us) to pray with gratitude for all that we already have, the relationships that we share with family and friends, and the hospitality that we extend to the most vulnerable in society. My intention is to make my home a house of prayer this Thanksgiving week, to appreciate all that I have, and to feel a true sense of gratitude.
—Mrs. Katy Salzman teaches French and the International Conflict and Refugees course at Prep.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!