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.
For the Jews, their temple is an important and sacred place. It is where God meets his people and lives among them. Unfortunately, their temple suffered desecration from the hands of the gentiles as narrated to us in the First Reading, and even from the Jews themselves as we have seen in the Gospel Reading. It needed Judas to purify and re-dedicate the temple desecrated by the Gentiles. It needed Jesus, prefigured by Judas in the First Reading, to cleanse the temple that the Jews turned to a “den of thieves“.
There is a similarity between the temple and our soul, which by baptism becomes temple of the Holy Spirit. The condition of the desecrated temple is the same as the condition of a soul desecrated by sin. The purification and re-dedication of the temple resembles the sacrament of Reconciliation. As purification cleanses the temple, so reconciliation cleanses the soul from the stain of sins.
As we make our physical church clean and a conducive place to communion with God, let us also make our souls clean and a conducive place where God can meet us and make his dwelling in us.