24th November 2020

Tuesday, Thirty Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Memorial of St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, Martyrs

Rev 14:14-19;  Ps 96:10-13; Lk 21:5-11


Jesus evicted the corrupt money changers from the Temple. He questioned and confounded the hypocritical religious leaders at the Temple. He praised the generosity of a woman who had made a small but meaningful donation to the Temple. Jesus loved the Temple. Human eyes wonder at material glory. Our attention roams around the exterior. But God’s eyes rest upon the interior. He looks into what is going on inside. The externally-beautiful grand structure of the Temple contained in itself the hypocrisies of the priestly class. The greed, the political manoeuvres, the power struggles and the luxurious life led by the Temple class at the expense of the poor were abominable in the eyes of the Lord. When the sacred structure loses its sacredness, it becomes nothing but a monument.

The people were shocked when Jesus predicted the Temple’s destruction. How could that be? How could the dwelling place of God, the very centre of the Jewish religion, be destroyed? As Jesus predicted, the Temple was destroyed. It happened in 70 A.D., when the Roman army moved in to put down a Jewish uprising. It was seen as a complete catastrophe. But God was able to take this tragedy and bring great good out of it. With the Temple gone, the early Christians could grasp even more deeply the central truth that God now lived in them by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We too are created for sacred purposes. As St Paul says, we are the temple of God. Our body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We must, each day, take a moment to examine what is really going on within this “holy temple” of ours. Is it serving the sacred purposes for which it is created? If we do not serve the purpose for which this temple of ours is built, the same tragedy will take place in us as well – the loss of sacredness, turning us into “monumental” Christians, that have no ‘eternal’ worth, and only deserve to be razed to the ground.

Responsorial Psalm: The Lord comes to judge the earth.

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