Gospel: Lk 19:45-48
Then Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, “God says in the Scriptures, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers!” Jesus was teaching every day in the temple. The chief priests and teachers of the law wanted to kill him, and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.
Jesus drove out the merchants outside the temple. He had no problem with those coming to the Temple to buy animals for the sacrifices needed and to change their Roman coins into acceptable Jewish currency (shekels) to make their contributions to the Temple. What he objected to was that this business was being carried out inside God’s house when it could just as well have been done outside. What made the transaction dubious was the priests’ connivance with the business practices and, hence, they would certainly have profited from it. Not surprisingly, the chief priests and the scribes – especially those who might have been involved in what must have been a lucrative business – were plotting how to get rid of Jesus who was upstaging their authority and accusing them of hypocrisy, greed and corruption. The chief priests, as members of the ruling Jewish council, the Sanhedrin, wielded great authority. But it was not going to be easy as the ordinary people continued to flock to Jesus. Jesus is an example of the true prophet. He speaks as a messenger of God and is indeed God’s own Son. He stands as a counter-witness to all that is against truth, love and justice and as such inevitably incurs the anger and hostility of those who have power based on self-interest and corruption. The Church is called on to continue that mission of witness to God’s reign. Her only concern must be always to speak the truth in love. God will take care of the rest.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018