20th November 2020

Friday, Thirty Third Week in Ordinary Time


Rev 10:8-11;  Ps 119:14,24,72,103,111,131; Lk 19:45-48


THE TEMPLE: A HOUSE OF PRAYER

In the Gospel passage of today, Jesus enters the Jerusalem Temple and drives out those who were selling things in the Temple courtyard. Jesus sees the situation of Jeremiah’s time repeating itself and refers to the words of God recorded by the prophet (Jeremiah 7:11): “You have made my house into a den of robbers”. In John’s Gospel, after cleansing the Temple, Jesus responds to the demand for a sign to demonstrate his authority for his actions. His sign is the cross and the resurrection.

Pope Benedict XVI writes in the second volume of his work Jesus of Nazareth: “The cross and resurrection give him authority as the one who ushers in true worship. The rejection and crucifixion of Jesus means the end of this Temple. The era of the Temple is over. A new worship is being introduced, in a Temple not built by human hands. This Temple is his body, the Risen One, who gathers the peoples and unites them in the sacrament of his body and blood. He himself is the new Temple of humanity. The crucifixion of Jesus is at the same time the destruction of the old Temple. With his Resurrection, a new way of worshiping God begins, no long on this or that mountain, but ‘in spirit and truth.’”

St Paul tells us that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwells in us. He goes further to exhort us not to make the Holy Spirit sad, by making the temple within us a ‘den of robbers’. We also need to be continually purified through prayer, penance, and through the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. And therefore, what should be the right attitude? In these two temples, i.e. the physical temple which is a place of adoration, and the spiritual temple within where the Holy Spirit dwells, our disposition should be one of true piety that adores and listens, that prays and asks pardon, that praises the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm: How sweet is your promise to my tongue, O Lord!


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