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Doctrines & Morals

My house shall be a house of prayer

In today's first reading, John speaks of the sweet-sour experience of consuming the scroll of God’s Word. Consuming the scroll is indicative of the importance of God’s Word as the Scripture supports the wellbeing of our souls. Just as the consumption of the scroll taste sour, transformation sometimes could cause pain. We can become complacent and comfortable with certain sins and we may resist God’s plan to change us. We might experience pain and wince as we learn that we are part of the problem and there may be bitterness and anguish in our reflection.

Today's Gospel reinforces another facet of how we need to allow the word of God to overturn the events of our lives. The Temple in Jerusalem was re-dedicated after being desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes. Then, years later, Jesus cleansed it again, after it was profaned by traders in the Temple courts. We might reflect on ways in which our lives and the Church could become fully a house of prayer, a Temple fit for God’s holy presence. Jesus entered the Temple area and drove out the merchants and traders. He was not against the Temple rituals but against the abuse of religion for gain by merchants and Chief Priests, who cared for money more than genuine worship. For us to purify the Temple means to let God be central in our lives. All our dealings, need to show justice and compassion, every aspect of our daily lives should be purified and be by God’s grace. As we renew our faith in Him, the words apply to us: “My house is a house of prayer.” We are challenged to make every part of our life, family and work place to reflects the sincerity of our worship, with God enthroned in our hearts. Just as Jesus drives out the money changers in the Temple, His fervent wish is to create that same clear space for worship and communion within us.

May the Lord overturn our ‘tables’ of pride, selfishness, meaningless rituals and profit-oriented religious celebrations, so that we may offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God! Amen!! Remain safe and have a pleasant day!!!

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