My house shall be a house of prayer


Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 501

“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.

When Jesus drove the moneychangers and merchants it was not only because their practices were dishonest or corrupt, but the whole order of the temple itself was beyond repair. The temple in its original form was the place where heaven and earth intersected. It was where God came to man.Throughout Jewish history though YHWH spoke from various forms;the burning bush, a pillar of fire, the cloud that guided the Hebrews through the desert journey and in the ark of the covenant. These are just a few examples.The temple originally replaced the ark, yet over the centuries it changed. Rather than being a place where heaven and earth intersected it became a symbol of a nation, a seat of priestly authority and the primary economic source of a temple-state. King Herod the architect expanded its size so that he might win favor over the Jewish leaders and secure his earthly kingdom. Could Jesus have chased out the money changers and merchants from the temple because they drove God from that place? Did the dealings of the earthly kings and leaders use that Temple as their seat of authority in an attempt to be like God? Was it becoming another tower of Babble? To Jesus it wasn’t just the merchants that needed to be expelled, but the temple itself. His temple was built of living stones as his mystical body. Jesus divinity is that he is that intersection between heaven and earth, Jesus is the true temple. Much of the temple authority had the right to feel threatened because people hung to his words. Likely they could not understand all that he taught, but they hung onto what seemed in their hearts to be true. He spoke to them like YHWH was supposed to speak to them in that stone building, and the Temple is where God was to speak to man. God spoke to man through his Son.

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